Engineer’s Day: Jamshedpur remembers Sir M Visvesvaraya, the architect behind Dimna Water Supply Project

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Jamshedpur, Sept. 15: India celebrates Engineer’s Day every year on September 15 to mark the birth anniversary of Sir M Visvesvaraya, Bharat Ratna recipient and engineering pioneer of India. Sir M Visvesvaraya was a scholar, a builder, a statesman, an educationist and the most celebrated engineer in India, with his engineering prowess being portraited in distribution of water resources and construction of dams across India in such an efficient manner that his designs have prevented massive flooding.

Sir M Visvesvaraya joined the Board of Directors of Tata Steel on November 12, 1927. He remained a Tata Steel Director for 27 years (1927-1955) during which he gave valuable guidance for the Technical Institute, reorganization and reforms for improvements in the Steel Works, Dimna Nala Water Supply Scheme.

Sir M Visvesvaraya was appointed Chairman of an enquiry committee to prepare an exhaustive report into the working of the Jamshedpur Technical Institute. The report prepared by Sir Visvesvaraya was accepted by the Board of Directors. One of the recommendations was that the Jamshedpur Technical Institute should be administered by an advisory committee having at its head an Indian officer of the Steel Company of good metallurgical experience. The recommendations suggested by Sir M Visvesvaraya became the base for total re-organisation of the Jamshedpur Technical Institute in 1932.

Sir M Visvesvaraya was an expert on irrigation projects. Hence, the Board of Directors entrusted him with a scheme involving the construction of reservoir on the Dimna Nala. In late 1930s, it was felt that water scarcity could hit the people of Jamshedpur as the city’s population was increasing rapidly. The project to deal with this exigency was announced and named as “Dimna Nala Water Supply Scheme”. Accordingly, Sir M Visvesvaraya made an in-depth study relating the future need of water for the Tata Steel Works and the city of Jamshedpur. On the basis of his recommendations, the construction to build the Dimna Dam started in February 1940. The project was successfully completed and water was supplied to the city for the first time on April 17, 1944.

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