Saturday, April 10, 2021

The letter that ensured Tata Steel’s presence in Jamshedpur instead of Nagpur

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Jamshedpur: In 1882, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata saw the report by Von Schwarz titled, “Report on the financial prospects of iron-working in the Chanda district” that stated the best situated iron ore deposits in the Chanda District was at Lohara. Nearby, Warora had coal. After testing of coal, it was found unsuitable.

 On February 24, 1904, Jamsetji received a letter from Pramatha Nath Bose, stating about the rich iron deposits at the hills of Gorumahisani in the Mayurbhanj District. It also spoke about the availability of coal in Jharia. Around the same time, Sir Dorabji Tata had almost decided upon building a plant 140 miles near Nagpur at Dhalli and Rajhara Hills.

 A survey team was constituted by Sir Dorabji Tata which was led by CM Weld. The exploration proved worthwhile.

 Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO) was set up in 1907, a little distance away from Mayurbhanj, near the village of Sakchi, at the confluence of two rivers – Subarnarekha and Kharkai which was also close to the Bengal-Nagpur railway line.

Born on May 12, 1855 in a remote village of Gaipur, in 24 Parganas district, West Bengal, geologist P N Bose graduated in Science from London University and passed out from the Royal School of Mines in 1878. During his years as geologist, he discovered iron ore mines in Dhulli and Rajhara in Madhya Pradesh. The most outstanding achievement of his life was the discovery of iron ore deposits in the hills of Gorumahisani in the state of Mayurbhanj. Following the discovery, P N Bose wrote a letter to J N Tata (Founder of Tata Steel) on February 24, 1904 which led to the establishment of Tata Iron and Steel Company at Sakchi on August 26, 1907.

P N Bose has several firsts to his credit. He was the first Indian graduate in science from a British University; first to discover petroleum in Assam; first to set up a soap factory in India and also the first to introduce micro sections as an aid to petrological work. He was also the first Indian to hold a graded position in the Geological Survey of India where he served with distinction. As a man of science, he had constantly taken up the cause of technical education in the country. His efforts also catalysed the foundation of the Bengal Technical Institute which is better known as the Jadavpur University today of which Bose was the first honorary Principal.

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