Paper, a uniquely useful product, preserves information and propagates thoughts. It helps in the promotion of literacy. It plays a vital role in health and hygiene, in processing of data and documenta­tion, and in communication.

There is hardly any other product which can command such social, cul­tural and economic value as paper. Paper industry belongs to the group of core industries.

Although the art of paper making was preva­lent as a cottage industry during the Medieval period (traditional craftsmen were called Kagzis), but the first paper mill, on modern lines, was set up in 1832 at Serampore (West Bengal).

After the failure of initial adventure new paper mills were established in 1867 at Bally, in 1879 at Lucknow, in 1881 at Titagarh, in 1887 at Pune and in 1891 at Raniganj. By 1939 there were 13 paper mills with annual installed capacity of 90,000 tons of paper.


The World War and Government protection proved benefi­cial for the growth of the industry as a result of which the number of mills increased to 16 in 1948. By 1950-51, there were 17 paper mills in the country with the annual capacity of 14.40 lakh tons of paper. The industry made significant progress with the beginning of the planning era.

This not only led to the increase in the number of mills and production but decline in the quantity of import. In 1997-98 there were more than 380 paper mills in the country with an annual installed capacity of 43.5 lakh tons. These mills have an investment of Rs. 500 crores and provide employment to about 2 lakh people.

The industry is dominated by small scale units which together provide 50 per cent of the installed capacity and production of paper in the country.

Raw Materials


Paper industry uses cellulosic pulp which is prepared from soft wood, bamboo, grasses, biogases, rags and waste paper. In India bamboo sup­plies 70 per cent of the raw material for paper industry. It has long fibers, reaches maturity in 2-3 years and grows well in tropical areas of north-east India, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The annual production is about 20 lakh tons. Sabai grass (Euloliopsis binata), grown in the Tarai areas of India and Nepal, provides about 9 per cent of the raw material for paper mills. Its annual production is about 3-4 lakh tons. Bagasse, the residue from sugarcane stalk, provides about 4 per cent of the requirement of the paper industry.

According to one estimate about 30 lakh tons of biogases may be collected for use in paper making. Waste paper and rags meet about 5 per cent need of the paper industry. Besides straw from rice and wheat, pinewood, euca­lyptus and wattle are also used for paper making. Recently new technique has been developed to uti­lise hard wood for paper making.

Besides cellulosic raw materials chemicals like caustic soda, chlorine, soda ash, sodium sul­phate, sulphuric acid, sculpture and lime etc. are also used in the manufacture of paper. To produce 1 tons of paper there is a requirement for 2.7-3.0. Tons of cellulosic raw material, 1.5-2.0 tons of coal, 0.97-1.25 tons of chemicals, 1500-1800 km of electricity and 250-350 cut of water. The manu­facturing of the paper passes through 3 main stages: (a) pulping of the cellulosic raw material, (b) refining of the pulp, and (c) finishing.



Paper industry in India is mainly raw material based industry. The states of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat account for over 70 per cent of the installed capacity and production of paper in the country. Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala and Assam together contribute about 25 per cent of the output of the paper.

1. Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh, with 18 per cent of the country’s output, is the leading producer of paper in India. The state has 15 paper mills with annual installed capacity of 3.29 lakh tons. Rajahmundry (capacity 75,000 tons), Sirpur (66,000 tons), Kurnool (42,000 tons), Bhadrachalam (50,000 tons), Tirupati, Bodhan, Ballarshah and Khammam are the important centers of the production. Bamboo (recoverable reserve 1.5 lakh tons) is the main raw material used in the paper making.


2. Maharashtra

The state of Maharashtra, with 34 paper mills and 13 per cent of total production, is the second important producer of paper in the country. The important locations of the industry are Ballarpur (largest paper mill of the country with annual capac­ity 85,000tonnes), Kalyan, Khopoli, Roha, Chinchwad (Pune), Kamptee, Sangli, Khandala, Pravaranagar and Jalgaon. Vikhroli, Goregaon and Kalyan are the main centres of paperboard while Ballarpur and Sangli are famous for newsprint. The industry uses a variety of raw materials like bamboo, biogases, rags, rice bran and imported pulp.

3. West Bengal

West Bengal, the traditional centre of paper industry, has been relegated to third place with 10.5 per cent of the national output of the paper. The state has mainly 19 paper mills located at Titagarh (capac­ity: 75,000 tonnes), Raniganj (50,000 tonnes), Naihati (23,000 tonnes), Baranagar, Bansberia, Sheoraphuli, Kankinara, Kolkata, Chandrahati, Haora, Tribeni, Alambazar, Dum Dum and Ganganagar. These mills have a total installed capacity of 2.36 lakh tonnes of paper annually. Besides the benefit of the early start the state obtains raw material from Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar; coal from Jharkhand; cheap hydro-electricity from DVC and Mayurakshi project and proximity of market.


4. Orissa

With 11 per cent of the total installed capacity Orissa contributes about 8 per cent of the total paper production of the country. The state has 6 paper mills located at Brajrajnagar (capacity 76,000 tons), Rayagada (50,500 tons), Chowdwar (18,000 tons), etc. These mills have total installed capacity of 1.88 lakh tons annually. Abundance of raw material (bamboo: 5 lakh tons annually) and coal are main advantages enjoyed by the industry.

5. Karnataka

The state accounts for 9 per cent of the in­stalled capacity and 7 per cent of the total production of paper in India. Dandeli (capacity: 60,000 tons), Bhadravati (capacity: 75,000 tons), Belagula, Nanjangud, Bangalore, Mandya and Ramanagaram are the important centers of study for the industry. The main raw material is bamboo (annual recovery being 2.34 lakh tons).


6. Gujarat

Gujarat contributes 7 per cent of the total production of paper in the country. Its total installed capacity is 1.96 lakh tons. Most of the paper mills are small in size. Important centers are Barejadi, Khadki, Utran, Vapi, Gondal, Udvada, Bavla, Songadh, Valsad and Kalol etc. Besides, there are straw board units located at Bilimora, Ramol, Dungsi, Digendranagar and Gangadhra. Here biogases are main raw material used in paper making.

7. Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has 11 paper mills with total installed capacity of 1.49 lakh tons. These are mainly located at Bhopal, Amlai (Shahdol), Ratlam, Vidisha, Rajgarh, Indore, Sehore, Dhemka, and Bilaspur(Chhattisgarh),Nepanagar(capacity: 75,000 tons) is famous for newsprint, while Hoshangabad provides currency paper for the country. Here bam­boo (annual recovery: 3.73 lakh tons), salai wood, eucalyptus and sabai grass are the raw materials utilised in the paper making.

8. Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has 15 paper mills (installed capacity 1.68 lakh tons) mainly located at Udamalpet, Tambaram, Pallipalayam, Charanmahadevi, Salem and Chennai. The main raw material is bamboo.

9. Haryana

Haryana has 15 paper mills with total in­stalled capacity of 1.25 lakh tons. Important centers of production include Faridabad, Yamunanagar (capacity 58,000 tonnes), Jagadhari and Rohtak. Faridabad and Chandigarh units produce straw board.

10. Uttar Pradesh

The state’s share in the country’s total in­stalled capacity and production of paper amount to 5 and 4.5 per cent respectively. The state has 46 paper mills with total installed capacity of 2.25 lakh tons. Saharanpur (capacity: 46,000 tons), Lai Kuan (capacity: 20,000 tons), Lucknow, Meerut and Modinagar are only bigger units. There are 6 paperboard units located at Saharanpur, Meerut, Modinagar, Budaun, Mainpuri and Naini (Allahabad). Raw materials include bamboo, sabai grass, biogases, conifer wood and wheat bran, rags and scrap paper.

11. Bihar

Bihar has six paper mills with annual in­stalled capacity of 87,600 tons. These are located at Dalmianagar (capacity 60,000 tons), Rameshwarnagar, Samastipur, Dumka (Jharkhand), Barauni and Patna. Raw materials come from the Tarai region (sabai grass) and the Chotanagpur Pla­teau (bamboo, annual recovery about 1 lakh tons).

12. Kerala

Kerala’s paper mills are located at Punalur (capacity 33,000 tons), Kozhikhode, Rayanpuram and Ernakulam. These contribute about 3 per cent of total production of paper in the country. The state has good supply of bamboo and electricity.

13. Assam

Assam contributes about 1.5 per cent of the national output of paper. Nagaon (capacity: 1 lakh tons), Jorhat, Gauhati and Cachar are the main centers of the industry. The state has rich bamboo forest which can be used for raw material.

14. Nagaland

Nagaland has its paper mill at Tuly (Mokokchung) with installed capacity of 33,000 tons.