British Ignoring Mines and Mineralogy in Garhwal -4
Administration in Garhwal -100
By: Bhishma Kukreti (History Student)
History of British Rule/Administration over Kumaun and Garhwal (1815-1947) -118
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -955
The celebrated hunter Jim Corbett described the foothills as iron ores foothills. Herbett also sent detailed report.
First blast furnace was igniting in Devchauri on 24th March 1856. . As per previous information, the technical experiments of Kumaon mines of 1856, Company Board Directors in 1857, deputed Sowerby a mine specialist as manager with other technicians to Kumaon for manufacturing iron in Kumaon. It was proved that Lumaon iron was good quality iron. It was estimated that the Kumaon iron is cheaper than English iron.
Government spent money and manpower for inviting private investors for iron manufacturing.
Device and Company invested in Kumaon ores and selected Dhabka and Bhakra region. After getting assurance from the government for leasing, Device Company purchased Khurpatal mines in 1858 and paid the cost by 1863. Device Company built a house in Kaladhungi for Rs one lakh.
In between, Drumond Company purchased Devchauri iron mines from Government and made full payment by 1861. Government offered them incentives for cutting wood from nearby forest for fuel. In 1862, there was merger of both the companies and new company was named ‘North of India Kumaon Iron Works Company (Limited).
England government instructed Indian government for constructing Khurja tram line. It was decided that Kumaon Iron works would supply and make pig iron rail for the Khurja tram rail. Kumaon Iron Works manufactures tons of pig iron for the rails. However, the job for Khurja Tram line was offered to Ruhelkhand Railway. Government asked money from Kumaon Iron Works for manufacturing rail and the company was not in position to do so. Kumaon Iron works Company was closed in 1864.
The government did not offer right time and right help to Kumaon Iron Works and an ambitious plan was flopped (Atkinson page 265).
Reasons for Unsuccessful Mining in Kumaon –Garhwal
The ore qualities were better in Garhwal and Kumaon but the mines were scattered and that created financial unfeasibility.
The workers were in shortage as old workers now, preferred farming or labor in other parts.
Finding the skilled workers in hills was again a problem.
Mining, loading, unloading was more problematic than plans of India.
Since in old time, the mines workers were getting farm land nearby mines the wages was less. Then later on the wages were neighbor than budget. Importing labor was again costly.
The mining in Garhwal was minimal or erratic after British took and even in twentieth century the situation did not improve and mining was then as much as zero.
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History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -956
*** History of British Rule/Administration over British Garhwal (Pauri, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli1815-1947) to be continued in next chapter
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
1-Shiv Prasad Dabral ‘Charan’, Uttarakhand ka Itihas, Part -7 Garhwal par British -Shasan, part -1, page- 279-286
2- Atkinson, Himalayan Districts, Vol.-1 page 259 to 275
History of British Rule, Administration , Policies, Revenue system, over Garhwal, Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule , Administration , Policies Revenue system over Pauri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Chamoli Garhwal, Nainital Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Rudraprayag Garhwal, Almora Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Dehradun , Champawat Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, ,Revenue system over Bageshwar Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;
History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, Revenue system over Haridwar, Pithoragarh Kumaon, Uttarakhand;