Steel City of India - All You Need to Know About Jamshedpur
India has a renowned iron and steel industry. During 2014 through 2016, India was the third largest producer of raw steel. It produced and exported 91.46 million tons of total finished steel. Steel is produced mainly in the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha.
Although many cities in India have steel plants, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand is known as the ‘Steel City of India’ because the first steel plant by TATA was here. Jamshedpur was the first industrial city in India, and almost the entire town works in the steel industry. It started as a small village and is now one of the most well planned and busy industrial city in India.
Let us have a look at what led Jamshedpur to the title of ‘Steel City of India’.
1. In 1900, Jamshetji Tata, a visionary industrialist, also known as the ‘Father of Indian Industry’, decided to transform Sakchi village of Jharkhand into an industrial sector. This village was known for its dense forests.
2. In 1907, Tata got India’s first steel plant built in Sakchi by an American geologist, Charles Perin. He then hired people to work for it which led to an influx of population from the surrounding villages.
3. By 1917, the village had 50,000 residents and 15,000 acres of land.
4. During the last one year of World War 1 (1917-1918), the Tata Steel Plant (which got to be known as TISCO or Tata Iron and Steel Company limited) became a significant provider of raw steel. It contributed to the railways built during this period.
5. The steel produced by TISCO was supplied in military campaigns in Mesopotamia, Egypt and East Africa.
6. In 1917, after the commencement of World War 1, the Governor-General and Viceroy of India, Lord Chlemsford, delivered a speech from the Director’s Bungalow in Sakchi, during which he retitled Sakchi to Jamshedpur, in honour of its founder.
7. During World War 2 in 1939, Jamshedpur faced threats from external forces. To protect itself, TISCO sent steel ropes tied to gas balloons up in the air, to prevent being attacked by Japanese bombers. Tar boilers were installed across the factory to create smokescreens along with arrangements for sirens as well.
8. The Japanese attacks increased nevertheless. This lead to increased pressure on Jamshedpur to build accommodation for the refugees. Thus, the steel city’s first lodge was created by an Anglo-Indian, Bartholomew D’Costa and his son. Now the city has many beautiful hotels and guesthouses.
9. Since then, the city has seen no downfall. It has continued to rise and justify the title of ‘Steel City of India’ by manufacturing raw steel and steel products in large quantities, and exporting them locally, nationally and globally.
10. Jamshedpur, the steel city and an industrial city, has turned 100 this year (2019). Slogans such as “Steel city. Green city. Clean city” now echo throughout Jamshedpur.
The planning and rise of the steel city of India owe its existence to the visionary, Jamshedji Tata. In a letter which Jamsetji Tata wrote to his son, Dorab, he mentioned all that which he wanted in his model city.