Friday, September 29, 2023


 The behometh called ITI has contributed in large measure to the development of the country as a whole and very few countries both developed or developing would have any semblance to a near wonder of the World that ITI is. Blessed with parks and stadia and   extra- ordinary conglomerate of  residential facilities  it is a near wonder of the World.That the planners of this country had the whim of envisaging such a facility talks of their competence and pioneering spirit.Public sectors have contributed to social growth and national harmony by breeding a generation of educated and well -oriented populace.

How did such a Industry take shape in Bangalore? This a story by itself  which needs careful analysis and understanding.

The model of ITI could be drawn from the large textile mills that existed around the world which had complex machinery and with time an integrated outfit was created with all facilities around the unit and the textile sector and to a lesser extent the tea processing centres gave a ready model of economic sustenance and viability  which was later applied to other industrial organizations. Most of the workers and staff living near-by and a lesser fraction transported to the complex by factory vehicles-the expenses incurred were largely over-ruled by the profits generated where people combined their efforts in Industrial harmony.

What was this place called Dooravaninagar before independance ? A largely agricultural belt with many lakes around with very few houses and settlements. There were large barracks which housed Italian prisoners  from the Second World war   who were brought by air to the old Bangalore airport and then ferried by train to the K R Puram railway station to be ushered into large barracks which used to exixt opposite to the ITI main gate. These prisoners; a large proportion of them were made to do manual labour for the English and this section of people were taken to Gheecenter near the kottur village for milk-processing  which means they had to walk or driven all the way from opposite the ITI main gate to kottur and back.

Such a large prisoner barrack was maintained  by English military officials who held a 24/7 vigil on them and one of the most earlier residential apartment at this place was the house of the Commandant which is the old Dooravaninagar post office  which could have come up around 1930 or so .The Commandant of the English military needed a telephone and a small exchange and repair facility came up in a small hutment which could be seen near the f-51 plant within the iti premises. This exchange was a strowger exchange which could support ten lines. One of the lines were within the barrack itself..another could have a link to gheecenter in kottur, another within the house of the commandant and other few lines for various other kinds of purposes which seved as a real-time link between the hierarchy of the English military operating at this place. The fact of the matter is that this military barrack brought telephone into modern day Dooravaninagar.

Add to that, land-line telephones need servicing and maintenance and a small telephone repair facility must have existed at f-51 shop itself. Much later when ITI was created my father used to say that one of the earlier General Work Managers Mr.Glass used to live in the Old Post-Office building which I mentioned earlier.

Water was pumped into this hamlet from the Tippagondanahalli reservoir the pumping station exists opposite the ITC factory in Cox-town. Modern day Dooravaninagar had telephones, exchanges and a water link from the TGH  reservoir.

Some-thing about the Strowger exchanges. It was a complex Electro-Mechanical and Magnetic system using relays for switching. It needed all forms of Engineering ,from the making of the case which was metal to relays to coil winding and more than anything else it worked on the concept of Stepper motors. It is a rotational device and made noise while operating but still a reliable switching device. Making such exchanges needed complex industrial effort but was worth it because there were no other substitute for it.

With the on-set of Independence and with the Government bent on providing employment a large Indian populace largely starved by the earlier administration , the combination of Exchange, Telephones and the supply of water tempted the Government to build a large and self-sufficient Industrial structure parallel to the large industrial set-ups seen in England ,Europe and Russia.

Thus started a set-up to my understanding that gave warmth and aegis to a wide variety of people with varied talents who in a concerted way contributed to the development of the Economy and the largely formidable country India appears to be today.


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