Jamshedpur – A City Built on Steel and Dreams
Jamshedpur, also known as Tatanagar, is located in southeastern Jharkhand state, India. It was founded in 1907 by industrialist Jamsetji Nasarwanji Tata, who established the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) in Sakchi, which was then just brushwood and jungle.
TISCO’s establishment marked the beginning of a new era for Jamshedpur, which rapidly grew into an industrial hub, boasting India’s principal ironworks and steelworks, a vehicle-assembly plant, and factories manufacturing agricultural implements, enameled ironware, and locomotive engine parts. Over the years, the city has witnessed significant development, and today,
it is the third-most-populous city and the largest urban standardize in the state, serving as a major rail and road junction. Jamshedpur also houses the National Metallurgical Laboratory and colleges affiliated with Ranchi University.
The City that Impressed Gandhi
Jamshedpur is not just about steel and industries; it also has a rich history and heritage. In 1925, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, the great-grandson of Jamsetji, discovered the idea of advertising Tata Steel’s swadeshi and socialist background. He wanted to use Gandhi’s visit to Jamshedpur for free propaganda and advertising. When Gandhi visited the factory to resolve labor disputes, he was impressed by the labor-oriented policies and practices in the company, which included 8-hour workdays, medical leave, bonuses, provident funds, and skill development programs.
Gandhi was also impressed by the standard and high-quality town-planning and enormity of the plant. Jamshedpur’s promotion campaign waited for another 44 years until Gandhi’s birth centenary in 1969 when Tata Steel declared in an advertisement that when the Mahatma visited Jamshedpur in 1925 and 1934, he was happy to see the cordial relations there and felt that their further extension would help achieve a Miniature Swaraj.
The Garden City
The city planning of Jamshedpur started in 1902 when Jamsetji Tata wrote to his son to “be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey, and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches.” Julian Kennedy of Pittsburgh, who came to India with Jamsetji Tata and Perin, created the original town. After World War II, Colonel Frederick Charles Temple, an English sanitary engineer, became an architect and brought with him the view of the garden city and industrial township from the newly-designed British city of Letchworth. In the 1930s, Major P.G.W. Stokes came to refurbish Quetta after the 1934 earthquake and was organized by Otto Koenigsberger, the German chief architect of Mysore.
The Vision of Jamsetji Tata
Jamshedpur today stands tall as a testament to the vision and dreams of Jamsetji Tata, who wanted to create a city that was not just an industrial hub but also a place where people could live, work, and thrive.