By Ruchika Verma
- Jameshedpur is an industrial city in Jharkhand, India
- It is known as the steel city of India because of the presence of TISCO
- The city is of great economic and historic significance
Jamshedpur, or famously, the steel city of India, is one of the most advanced and populous city in Jharkhand, India. It is home to the tenth largest steel company in the world, Tata Steels, and is also the first ever planned industrial city of India.
It was earlier a village called Sakchi. It got the name, Jamshedpur by Lord Chelmsford in 1919, in the honour of its founder, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata. Jamshedpur was his dream city which he wanted to develop for his steel plant.
In a letter which Jamsetji Tata wrote to his son, Dorab, he mentioned all that which he wanted in his model city.
“Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches.”
On these instructions was built was a city brought a wave of steel revolution in India.
How and Why Jamshedpur developed
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata was born in 1839 in a Parsi family. He made most of his fortune trading cotton, tea, copper, and brass. He was a brilliant businessman who loved inventions.
He had a sharp business acumen and was a huge supporter of the Swadeshi concept. He was inspired to establish the first steel plant in India when he listened to the philosopher, Thomas Carlyle’s words in Manchester. According to Carlyle, a country who has control over iron can have control over gold.
His idea was ridiculed by the Britishers but it didn’t have any effect on Jamsetji’s determination. He sailed to in 1902, where he was dubbed as ‘the J. P. Morgan of the East Indies’ by the press.
In America, Jamsetji hired two key men, one to build his steel mill and the other to run it. He spent lots of time researching and talking to various geologists and engineers to rope them into developing his steel plant. However, he died before completing this dream and his son, Dorabji Tata took on the challenge.
The Tata Iron and Steel Corporation or TISCO started producing steel in 1908, and it made India the first Asian country to have steel plant of its own.
TISCO, Jamshedpur and World Wars
When World War I broke out in 1914, TISCO proved to be of crucial importance. British government recognised its importance and potential. It played a huge role in providing the steel for arms and ammunition which helped Britain win the war.
The steel produced in Jamshedpur by TISCO was used in military campaigns across Mesopotamia, Egypt and East Africa.
In World War II (1939), to protect itself, TISCO sent steel ropes tied to gas balloons up to the sky to prevent Japanese planes from bombing down the mill. Tar boilers were also set up across the factory to create smokescreens. Also, sirens were set up.
When the Japanese attacks increased, Allied forces were brought to Jamshedpur. However, then there were no hotels to lodge the troops. So an Anglo-Indian, Bartholomew D’Costa, and his son were asked to build one hastily.
The father-son duo set up The Boulevard Hotel in Jamshedpur in December 1940. It was the first ever hotel in the industrial town of Jamshedpur.
Jamshedpur and its glory
Post Independence, Jamshedpur with its steel plant continued to play an important role. It helped in the economic and industrial development of India.
Jamshedpur has seen the time of war and is of great historical significance too. Tata has done further efforts to make this city one of the bests. They’re built schools, railways junctions, sports complex, etc. The city today is sprawling with development and is one of the cities with the most potential for further advancements.