PN Bose: The Man Behind Existence of Jamshedpur

Pramathanath Bose, a scientist and geologist who lived in the 19th century, has discovered many wonders like Jamshedpur. He pioneered mineral exploration in India and was responsible for Tata’s setting up a steel plant in a village known as Sakchi.

Centre For Excellence

Tata steel some days ago celebrated his 166th birth anniversary.

The Dream of Tata Steel

The steel plant was, however, a dream JN Tata cherished more than anything else. He was an inveterate traveller. Many of his business ideas were born during his travels, and he was quick to bring back to India the technologies he saw abroad. During one of his trips to the UK, Jamsetji attended a lecture by Thomas Carlyle, at Manchester, which motivated him to establish a steel plant. The story of how Tata Steel came into being is itself fascinating in many aspects.

In 1882, J.N. Tata had come across a report on the financial prospects of ironworks in India by German geologist Ritter Von Schwarz and was exploring the possibility of setting up a company in the then Chanda district, now Chandrapur district, in Maharashtra, but abandoned the idea when the quality of deposits was not found to be good enough.

Golden Land Beside Rivers

The first Indian graded officer at Geological Survey of India, P N Bose took it upon himself to guide J N Tata to the princely state of Mayurbhanj, in modern-day Odisha. The pioneers, Sir Dorabji Tata and Shapoorji Saklatvala, accompanied by Surveyors, CM Weld and his Indian assistant Srinivas Rao, undertook a hard and adventurous journey, defying all dangers and discomforts, spending nights in tents, in search of an ideal location for a steel plant.

The pioneers found the ideal site for a steel pant in December 1907 at Sakchi, a quiet patch in the jungles of Bihar at the confluence of two
peaceful rivers, Subarnarekha and Kharkai.

The Letter of Change

The letter was written on February 24, 1904, by Pramatha Nath Bose, a pioneering geologist trained in England, and addressed to Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata who was then toying with the idea of establishing an iron and steel company in India.

A copy of PN Bose’s letter to JN Tata shared by Tata Steel
A copy of PN Bose’s letter to JN Tata shared by Tata Steel

“As you are interested in the development of the iron industry of this country, I have to bring to your notice an exceedingly rich and extensive deposit of iron ore which I have just explored in this state (Mayurbhanj),”

Bose wrote to Tata in 1904
The Rest is History

Though not exactly around Gorumahisani, Tata Iron and Steel Company eventually came up at Sakchi, a sparsely populated tribal village located at the confluence of the Subarnarekha and Kharkai rivers.

In 1919, Sakchi was renamed Jamshedpur by Lord Chelmsford, the then Viceroy of India.

People Like Sir PN BOSE always remain in our hearts, his contributions not only helped Tata Steel and Jamshedpur, but to the entire nation.

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