GORUMAHISANI, INDIA’S FIRST IRON ORE MINE TOWNSHIP
Why in news?
About 20 km from Rairangpur lies Gorumahisani, which is India’s first iron ore mine, and widely dubbed as ‘mother mine’ for empire of Tata Steel that has grown to a global steel behemoth having crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes per annum.
- India’s legendary geologist P. N. Bose had written a letter to J.N. Tata (founder of Tata Steel) about the discovery of Gorumahisani Iron Ore Mine on February 24, 1904, which led to the establishment of Tata Iron and Steel Company at Sakchi (now in Jharkhand) on August 26, 1907.
- The first iron ore rock, which was tested in London to ascertain the iron content in the first decade of 1900s, is still preserved in the mining area. The memorial is known as N. Bose Memorial.
- Subsequently, then King of Mayurbhanj Sriram Chandra Bhanjdeo, who was considered to be ahead of his times, entered into an agreement with the Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO Limited), (now Tata Steel) and granted lease of Gorumahisani iron ore mine.
- “TISCO Limited was given prospecting licence for five years between 1905 and 1910 before being granted lease. The first 30 years of lease of Gorumahisani was granted to TISCO for a period of 30 years from July 1, 1910 to 30 June 1940. The lease was further extended by 30 years till 1969. This was perhaps the first mining lease formally executed in India
- The TISCO surrendered the lease pre-maturely in 1969 before the expiry of the lease period, ostensibly due to some labour problem and high cost of production. Subsequently, the lease area over 1435.30 hectares was granted to Ghanshyam Misra on January 7, 1970 for 30 years.
Passenger train service in 1990s
- Despite 100 years of mining in Gorumahisani Hills, the area remained in a state of neglect. The place which witnessed water supply system, lighting of township and passenger train services way back in early 1990s has remained a gram panchayat.
- The administrative unit — Kuleisila Gram Panchayat — has even not developed into a Notified Area Council.
Gorumahisani’s first college has been named as Iron College. The government school was also christened P. N. Bose School.