Dhanbad History, India
Dhanbad history recounts the tale of development of Dhanbad city (a city in the Indian State of Jharkhand) from a place of no significance in the early decades of the 20th century to the ‘Coal Capital of India’ as it stands today. Before going into the particulars of Dhanbad history it would be worthwhile to mention that unlike Ranchi (capital of Jharkhand), Dhanbad has no pre-history. Human beings have had access to the area quite late and human settlements can, at best, be dated to the early years of the 20th century.
Dhanbad History – Early Days of the City and Mining Industry
As already said, it is the second-half of the 19th century that saw the arrival of human beings in this part of the Chota-Nagpur Plateau. The first people to arrive were mostly scientists and researchers, who were brought here to explore the region’s rich mineral reserves as well as its settlement opportunities.
As the news of the region’s coal-reserves started spreading in the early years of the 1900s, the area saw influx of people in huge numbers from other parts of India. These people mostly belonged to different business communities and one of the principal groups to arrive was the Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas or the Kutchi Mistris. The Kutchi Mistris were skilled construction workers and they are credited as the developers of Dhanbad Sadar (the city) and its adjoining areas like Baghmara, Baliapur, Gobindpur, Jharia and Sindri (or rather the entire Dhanbad District).
1910 was a significant year in Dhanbad history – it was the year when the Tatas first arrived here to launch their coal mining operations. The first colliery leased to the Tata Group was the Bhelatand Coal Mines (in 1910). Tatas have since been granted lease of other Dhanbad collieries like Jamadoba, Malkera and Sijua. Of course, the Gurjar Kshatriyas (along with other business communities) also engaged in the colliery business.
The incorporation of Dhanbad into the Malbhum District of Bengal in 1928 was perhaps the last significant event of the pre-Independence period.
In 1952 the Tata Group was commissioned for the Jamadoba Coal Preparation Plant and Washery.
Dhanbad History – Creation of Dhanbad District to Present Times
Dhanbad became a district of the Indian State of Bihar in 1956 – the declaration was made on October 24 and the ruling came into effect on November 14, 1956. When the State of Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on November 15, 2000, Dhanbad became a district of Jharkhand. Since then, Dhanbad city has been the H.Q. of Dhanbad District. The city is also the H.Q. of the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (which was formed in 2006).
Present-day Dhanbad is one of India’s fastest growing cities. Dhanbad’s many coal mines and coal plants have brought it the soubriquet of the ‘Coal City’, but the city has now risen above its dependence on the mining industry to branch out and excel in other fields like power generation, cement and fertilizer production, etc. There has been marked progress in transportation – today Dhanbad is part of the Golden Quadrilateral (that starts from Kolkata and ends at Delhi); this, together with its hosts of area-attractions and other tourism-support services, makes Dhanbad tourism a lucrative option.
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