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The origin of Industrial Bangalore

Of all the Indian states, Mysore had earned the reputation of forging a sound infrastructure for industrial growth in early days. The Hydroelectric power station at Shimsha had begun generating power as early as 1920 and Bangalore became the first city in the country to have electricity. 

The Bangalore-Jolarpet railway line had been inaugurated by Bowring in 1864, and the experience of the famine years of 1876-77 had encouraged a widening of railways emanating from the city. 

The government offered several kinds of assistance: technical assistance, supply of raw materials, supply of sites at cost price, sale of products, and buying agreements, production of units and so on. Dewan Visvesvaraya had more than once stressed on the need for industrialisation for the state’s progress. 

In 1913, the department of industries and commerce was set up, and its first director was Sir Alfred Chatterton who had earned the displeasure of the government of India for his experiments in small-scale industrialisation in Madras. 

Chatterton’s directorship of the Mysore department yielded little: the sandalwood oil factory which made use of one of Mysore’s most precious resources was set up in 1916, and the soap factory in 1917. 

Several industries that began in the period were related to electricity production: the Government Electric Factory, the Government Porcelain Factory and the Mysore Lamp Works. The war had given woollen factories a boost and the Mahalaxmi Mills began in the early twenties. 

New extensions to the city in 1920’s and 30’s and the resultant expansion in the building industry set the ball rolling for the pottery industries that produced stoneware pipes, bricks and tiles.

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