IISCO township - Burnpur - St Antony's church




On the outskirts of Asansol, stands an important industrial township called Burnpur (named after its original founder, a Briton called BURN).


Burn & Co promoted The Indian Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. in 1918. G.H.Fairhurst is credited with having founded the plant at Burnpur (then better known as Hirapur). Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee and T.Leslie Martin were also associated with it. Sir Biren Mookerjee joined a little later and played a major role in the development of the plant. Iron production started at Burnpur in 1922. Kulti Works of Bengal Iron was merged with IISCO in 1936. Steel Corporation of Bengal (SCOB) set up the steelmaking facilities at Burnpur in 1939. SCOB was merged with IISCO in 1952 and Martin Burn was then the managing agent of the company. Indian Standard Wagon (ISW) (later renamed Burn Standard) set up its wagon factory at Burnpur.


 Iron and steel technology advanced in leaps and bounds since the Second World War, along with massive growth in production globally. The technological leap forward left the plant at Burnpur in shambles. Rising cost of production made the once profit making organisation a loss-making unit. Coupled with militant labour trouble in the sixties, IISCO faced a situation of near collapse in the early seventies. The management of IISCO was taken over by the government on 14th July 1972. Subsequently IISCO was nationalised and made a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd.). At the time of government-take over IISCO was the third largest private sector company (after TISCO and Telco) in India.

page 49 Burnpur steel plant b

Two plants are located here: the IISCO (Indian Iron and Steel Company) plant, one of the first steel-works opened in British India; and the Indian Standard Wagon (ISW) Factory, a plant manufacturing railway carriages for coal and iron ore transportation. As a friendly gesture, IISCO handed over the ownership rights to the landed property for a church building to be used by the Indian and Foreign Catholic township residents. The St Antony's Church was designed and built by Charles-Victor Poncelet sj with financial aid from Belgium.


1. St Antony's Church, view from the opposite maidan (esplanade).


page 30 Burnpur St Antony a
Archbishop Dyer'visit
Burnpur Dyer 2



2. The church keeper's lodge.


page 30 Burnpur St Antony b


 3. Sikander & John Barla chatting in the church compound.

                                     page 30 Burnpur John

page 37 b Burnpur John Barla


4. John De Ridder relaxing on the Barakar River bank.



page 30 Burnpur jDR river d

16:57 Posted by Jean-Jacques in 06 Burnpur | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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