The State of Assam has been bestowed with a vast reserve of Fossil Fuels. Assam has huge hydrocarbon potential, large quantities of low ash coal resources, limestone and dolomite deposits as well as a few other unexplored minerals in addition to a wide forest covers and abundant rivers. Coal mining is an important source of livelihood for the people in the state and the largest coal producing company in the world Coal India Ltd. has its operations in the state of Assam under its subsidiary North Eastern Coal Fields Ltd. (NECF).
Situated very close to the office of the General Manger of Coal India Ltd. at Margherita in Assam is India’s only Coal Museum. The brain child of the Ex. Chief General Manager of NECF Mr. A. K. Bora a coal mining professional and a war history enthusiast (he has never missed to watch any movie/documentary on the World Wars I & II), this museum of International standard was inaugurated on 29th October, 2012 and is opening for public viewing.
The coal museum contains Relics of the likes of the locomotives manufactured by W G Bagnall, Stafford, England (John, Hassng, David and Shelly), Memoirs of World War II (rare pictures of construction of Stilwell Road, Pangsau Pass and Ledo airstrip, empty shells of bombs used in WW II), the history of the Assam Railways & Trading Co. Ltd (AR &T Co. Ltd.), a rare collection of stamps from over the world, vintage Cyclostyle machines, etc.
The main attraction of the museum is the practice of coal mining depicted in the form of real time models, a demo structure of an underground coal mine, necessities to be carried to the underground mines by the workmen like underground coal mining boots, cap lamps, shovels and other tools of mining, vintage underground telephones, etc. The museum depicts the history of coal mining at Namdang in Assam. It also contains actual models of transformers, haulages and Circuit breakers manufactured by Crompton Parkinson and Manchester & Scheffield, England.
This museum is must to see place for people in the coal mining industry and history enthusiasts. Post you visit to the museum you can savor a sumptuous meal of traditional cuisine at the Singpho Villa Restaurant at New Colony, Margherita and experience open cast coal mining at Tirap Colliery.
A day at Margherita Coal Museum
On our Tour of Tipong Colliery with our Japanese Guests we got a chance to visit the Coal Museum at Margherita. We visited the Museum on January 1st, 2018. On our arrival at the Coal Museum at Margherita at first we took our time to see and click pictures of the Steam Locomotives of John, Shely and Hasang that are kept at the entrance of the Coal Museum at Margherita. After spending our time here we went to to visit the various old transformers that are kept on display which were all brought in from England. Later we visited the demo underground coal mine and the model depicting the practice of open cast coal mining. Later we entered the hall of the Margherita Coal Museum where we could see the various methods of coal mining that have been adopted across the World. Later we entered the main hall of the Coal Museum where we were greeted with the statue of Dr. John Berry White who was a pioneer in establishing the operations of the erstwhile AR&T Company who had major operations of Coal mining, Oil drilling, Tea Production and plywood manufacturing in eastern India during the British regime. John Berry White was responsible in establishing India’s first X-Ray unit at the Assam Medical College at Dibrugarh. We continued to explore the Coal Museum at Margherita where we could see a collection of stamps from across the World, the major milestones in the construction of the Stilwell Road, the visit of various foreign guests to this remote part of India, various methods and equipments used in coal mining, various artefacts from World War II like empty bombshells, etc.