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100 years of hydel power in State

By Our Correspondent

CHAMARAJANAGAR, JULY 4. It is a matter of pride that the princely State of Mysore was the first in Asia to harness its own electricity by setting up the continent's first hydel power station at the foot of the Shivanasamudra Falls near Kollegal in the present Chamarajanagar district. The authorities are now celebrating 100 years of the power station.

The Shivanasamudra Hydro-Electric Power Project supplied electricity to Kolar Gold Fields in 1902 and in 1905 to Bangalore, which became the first Indian city to have power supply. The project was taken up in 1900 when K. Sheshadri Iyer was the Dewan after Mysore State decided in 1899 to utilise its natural water falls for producing electricity.

The site of setting up the power station was a point on the Cauvery east of Mysore city and south of Bangalore where the river divides into two forming the island of Shivanasamudram. The work on the power station was completed by 1902 and on June 30 of that year, power was transmitted for the first time to Kolar Gold Fields.

In December 1937, the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, laid the foundation stone for the Shimsha Hydro Electric Project at Shimshapura. This was to augment power-producing capacity. Shimshapura had an installed capacity of 17,200 kilowatts.

Now, the Shivanasamudra Falls have regained their beauty with the monsoon active in the catchment area.

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