History of NLC

 
 

THE LIGNITE LEGEND OF TAMIL NADU

A CHRONOLOGY

It is a long history with lots of efforts behind the birth of baby of Coal family, the fossil fuel, "LIGNITE" arrival in the coal starved Southern region of India. The following is the gist of events that took place in the legend of Tamil Nadu before the formation of NLC India Limited as a Corporate body.

 

Year
Chronology of events
1828
 
Occurrence of "PEAT" a low calorific fuel of coal family near point calimere is reported to the then Madras Government, by the sub-collector of Thanjavur Mr.Nelson
1830
 
General Cullen discovers lignite deposits at the base of the cliffs on the Sea-shore near Cannanore - Later near varkala near Quilon and also at Vaikom in Kerala
1840
 
Captain New bold discovers Lignite at the foot of the cliffs of laterite on the river banks near Beypore.
1870
Peat bogs found in Nilgiris (Peat is considered to be the first stage in the formation of Coal from vegetable matter accumulating in swamps)
1877
Mr. W. King of the Geological survey of India takes up a study of artesian wells around Pondicherry. He comes across a carbonaceous strata.
1884
Mr.Poilay a French Engineer encounters a Lignite seam in a bore hole at Bahoor, the then French territory. Further exploration along the belt indicates possible Lignite deposits at Udharamanickam, Aranganur and Kanniakoil, near Cuddalore. Lignite deposits are indicated at Kasargod and the Collector of South Kanara reports kit to the board of Revenue
1934
Industries Department of the then Government of Madras drills bore holes for tapping artesian water in the neighbourhood of Neyveli. Lignite particles encountered are taken as "black - clay" by unlettered workmen engaged in drilling.
1935
 
Borewells sunk in Jambulinga Mudaliyar's land in Neyveli and the black particles gushing forth attract the attention of camping Geologists engaged in some other mission in the Neyveli Vriddhachalam area.
1937-38
Samples of the black substance taken from the above form well sent to the Government of Madras for analysis.
1941
 
M/s. Binny & Co., Madras put down four or five bore holes at Aziz Nagar, near Neyveli. Two of them show evidence of Lignite deposits; but for want of casing pipes and drilling equipment, further work is given up.
1943-46
The Geological Survey of India starts drilling operations near Neyveli. Preliminary investigations indicate the existence of Lignite to the extent of about 500 tonnes in that area.
1947
Mr.H.K.Ghose, Geologist and Mining Engineer deputed by the Government of India arrives in Neyveli and starts his operations
1948
 
The first bore holes sunk by Mr. Ghose have to be abandoned because of water logging and sand - beds. The third one "September 1951" yields samples of Lignite
1949
 
Mr. Ghose draws experimental open cut plan and calls for tenders to start excavation.
1951
 
Sinking 175 borewells in a cluster punctuating the chosen area, Mr. Ghose proves the existence of about 2000 Million tonnes of Lignite reserves in the area. State Government's Industries and Commerce Department also sinks over 150 borewells South of Vriddhachalam Mr. Paul Eyrich, a Mining Engineer is deputed by the Bureau of Mines, United States of America, to assist the Government of Madras under point four programme to determine the Engineering and Economic aspects of Lignite Mining in Neyveli. Upon his recommendation, the US Government sponsors a study on the subject under the direction of Mr. V.F.Parry.
1952
 
The High Power Committee for Lignite Mining recommends the Pilot Quarry project.
1953
 
Pilot Quarry being commissioned by Dr. U. KrishnaRao, Minister for Industries, Madras Government.
1954
Pandit Nehru's Visit to the Pilot Quarry. Government of India's Committee comprising Mr. C.V. Narasimhan, ICS Mr. A.C. Guha and Mr. A. Lahiri inspect the Pilot Quarry and submit a report to the Government Under the Colombo Plan, Services of the UK firm PDTS (M/s. Powell Duffryn Technical Services Limited) are availed of for a Project report.
1955
Neyveli Lignite project's affairs, hitherto managed by the State Government, get passed on to the Central Government with full Financial responsibility. Mr. T.M.S. Mani, ICS, Secretary, Department of Industries, Labour and Co-operation, takes over as the Chief Executive of the project.
1956
Formation of NLC as a Corporate body. NLC is born as a Government sponsored commercial concern.

 

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