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Metal Industry in India

Metal industries are the indispensable part of an economy; they form the backbone of industrial development of any country.

In India the industrial development began with the setting up of Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) at Jamshedpur in 1907. It started its production in 1912. Then came up Burnpur and Bhadrawati Steel Plants in 1919 and 1923 respectively. It was, however, only after the Independence that the steel industry gas been able to find its feet. Barring the Jamshedpur plant of the Tatas, all are in public sector and looked after by the Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL).

Bhilai and Bokaro plants were set up with the Soviet collaboration. Durgapur and Rourkela came up with British and German technology know-how respectively.

Iron and steel industry is by nature a heavy industry. Proximity to raw materials and access to efficient transportation network are crucial to this industry. The Chhotanagpur plateau bordering West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, therefore has been the natural core of this industry.

Besides, iron and steel industry, heavy engineering and machine tools industries are the main dealers of metals. These industries have witnessed a phenomenal growth and produces a whole range of capital goods and consumer durables. The capital goods required for textile industry, fertilizer plants, power projects, cements, steel and petro-chemical plants, mining, construction and agricultural machineries such as equipment for irrigation projects, diesel engines, pumps and tractors, transport vehicles, etc. are being produced indigenously.

The Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd., set up at Ranchi in 1958 fabricates huge machines required for the iron and steel industry. Locomotives are manufactured by three units, viz. Locomotive Works, Chittaranjan (West Bengal), Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), and Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd. (TELCO), Jamshedpur. The Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd. (HMT) is a major manufacturer of a wide range of machines and tools. It has its units in Banglore, Pinjore(Haryana), Kalamassery(Kerala), and Hyderabad. The HMT also produces a wide range of watches.

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) is a public sector undertaking which produces power generation equipments. Its manufacturing plants are located at Bhopal, Tiruchirapalli, Hyderabad, Haridwar, Ranipet, Banglore and Jagdishpur (Uttar Pradesh). The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Banglore has acquired capability of manufacturing aircrafys of different types.It has its manufacturing units at Banglore , Kanpur, Nasik, Koraput, Hyderabad, and Lucknow.

Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai, Calcutta and Kochi are the major center of ship-building industry.

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