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Monday, September 5, 2011

ELECTRIFICATION OF THE KGF MINES - KGF was the first Mining Industry in Asia to get Electricity in 1902

An Excerpt from my Book KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE

From the inception of the mines in 1880 until the year 1902 all the machinery in the Kolar Gold Mines were worked by steam power. Feeling the need for captive electric power, The John Taylor and Sons Company prevailed upon the British Government in Mysore to provide Electric power to the Company to meet its huge need for electricity, for running the machines and various other needs. The Cauvery Power Scheme was thus initiated in 1900 by the Mysore Government, under K Seshadri Iyer, the then Diwan of Mysore. The credit however, for the Cauvery Falls Power Works was attributed to Captain Lotbiniere R.E., the then Deputy Chief Engineer of the Mysore Government.

The initiating of the Cauvery Power Scheme has also been recorded in The Karnataka State Gazette, Mandya District as follows:  ‘The Mysore Government decided to investigate the practicality of generating power at Shivanasamudram Falls Site and enlisted the services of Colonel Campbell, the Chief Engineer at Madras for the same with the cooperation of the Madras Government. The Chief Engineer took a very favourable view of the potential of the project. In June 1899, the Deputy Chief Engineer of Mysore, after studying the details of the power installation at the Niagara Falls (in North America), was convinced of the idea of working the machinery at the Kolar Gold Fields with the electricity generated by the Cauvery falls.
The scheme received the hearty support of Seshadri Iyer and Colonel Campbell.  M/S John Taylor & Sons of London, who had the general control on KGF also supported the scheme. The government decided to utilise the head of the falls for hydro-electric power and its transmission for the service of industrial undertaking in the state of Mysore, inclusive of KGF, in 1899 “.
                                                                                          
The first major Hydro Electric Generating Station for commercial operations was thus commissioned in 1889 at Shivasamudram, near Mysore, The longest transmission line, at the highest voltage in the world, was constructed exclusively to meet the power needs of mining operations at Kolar Gold Fields.

The work on the Cauvery Power Works Station at Shivasamudram was completed by the middle of 1902. The 30th of June 1902, was a Red Letter Day in the history of Mysore State and the Kolar Gold Mines. It was on this day, 4000 H.P. of Electric Energy was transmitted from the Cauvery Falls Power Station at Shivasumudram through the longest transmission line to Kolar Gold Fields for the first time. Thus the erstwhile Mysore State, became the first State in India, to establish such a huge Hydro-Electric Plant.


It has been further recorded in the Karnataka Gazetteer that:  quote “The first Hydro-electric power station in Asia was set up when the British Resident General Donald Robertson in Mysore launched the 700 KW Hydroelectric Station which transmitted power to KGF on 30th June 1902”.  Unquote.


KGF was thus supplied with electric power from Shivasamudram in 1902. It was the first time in Asia that electricity was generated and supplied, through a transmission line that was more than 80 miles long. It was the longest transmission line in the world at that time - the second longest was at the Niagara Falls which was only 13 miles long!

1 comment:

Mohammed said...

GE (General Electric) Started Business in 1902 & Build Hydro Power Plant & named SIVARAMUDRAM. From there KGF got 25Hz Electricty