Sunday, 7 July 2013

CHAPTER 20 : DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES


The law of development is such that its horizons should continuously expand. Of course there can be limits to development depending upon ones capabilities. But there can never be a full stop. When development is halted there can only be a comma. The possibilities of development are limitless. Man’s vision and strengths cannot remain unfulfilled and as the horizon of their hopes and ambitions extends, so do their aims and thus development also progresses. Development is unlimited growth. In the case of industrial development, the rule is that if after reaching a certain stage the speed of development is arrested then instead of progress it is the beginning of its downfall, so according to this rule it is hoped that there will always be continuous progress.
The various factories of the Kamani Group have made good progress. The production of A.C.S.R conductors in the Jaipur factory proceeded very well and that industry developed fast. In addition they also planned to produce 1,200 tons of enamelled copper wires annually and obtained an industrial licence for the same. The machines for this were imported from abroad. If the scheme had not been delayed due to problems of foreign exchange, then the machines would have arrived in the beginning of 1966 and the factory would have gone into production at that time. They also obtain an industrial licence to manufacture 300 miles (approximately 483 kms) of paper insulated lead shield powder cables annually. As the program of electrical installations in the five year plans gradually progressed, the demand for such cables would increase. Since this work required foreign expertise, efforts were made in this direction. It was hoped that such a collaboration would be entered into with America.
Along with enamelled copper wires and these power cables, the production of grooved copper wires and cadmium catenaries (suspended overhead power cables that supply current to trolleybuses, trams and most electric trains) was also started.
An industrial licence was also obtained to produce 600 tons of phosphor bronze wires and strips used for ‘tar kapad’ in the paper industry. These items are also used in making engineering goods and sensitive instruments. There was a good demand for these items, which the industrial output in the country could not meet.
All these three schemes were to be started in the first year of the fourth five year plan. But due to the Indo-Pak conflict, a cut in foreign collaboration, famine, etc., the foreign exchange position reached a critical stage. As a result of this the conditions were not conducive, but with favourable circumstances and greater efforts, these items were manufactured in the Jaipur factory before the end of the fourth five year plan.
Due to a shortage of copper and zinc, and government restrictions on raw material for industry, the output of copper and brass wires in the Kurla factory decreased by 25 percent. To fill this gap, as soon as experiments that were carried out to produce aluminium and steel sheets were successful, such sheets were manufactured. Aluminium sheets had been produced in this factory in 1947. This work had been stopped for some time in between, but was restarted at the end of 1965.  At that time steel sheets were also produced.
But the diversity of industrial products did not end here. A spare rolling mill in the factory of Kamani Metals and Alloys, was installed in Bangalore. There, in the first phase, aluminium sheets were manufactured and later as raw material became freely available, plans to produce copper and brass sheets went ahead by leaps and bounds. The Government of India and the Government of Mysore, gave their permission to produce these different goods.
In addition to expanding the factory in Kurla that manufactured towers, a factory to produce towers was also set up in Jaipur. An industrial licence was also obtained to set up a plant to manufacture 6,000 tons of screws, bolts and nuts annually, which would be used in the towers and structures manufactured by Kamani Industries; as well as this a licence was obtained to set up a rolling mill with an annual production of 10,000 tons of high tensile and mild tensile steel, used to make the tower parts.
Efforts were also made to set up expert technical collaboration with an experienced European company for this work and for the work of the electricity department of the railways. Once this collaboration was established, Kamani Engineering Corporation would be capable of supplying suspension bridges and bridge parts, pickets, posts, medium and heavy duty structures and road towers etc., to the Department of Defence.
Four to eight inch pipes that were required by the various engineering industries were not manufactured in the country and had to be imported from abroad. The demand for such non ferrous pipes was gradually increasing. Since there was also a demand for naval bronze, aluminium bronze, cupronickel and phosphor bronze pipes, from the Department of Defence, plans were also made to install an extrusion press capable of exerting a pressure of 2,500 tons, in the Kamani tube factory.
They were also considering the manufacture of brass caps for electric bulbs with expert technical collaboration with Philips Company of Holland.
Simultaneously with this, there was also a plan to set up a pig iron foundry, which could produce 4,400 tons of heavy iron castings annually.
Another scheme that was considered was regarding the recovery of zinc. In zinc plating factories zinc dust and waste is collected, so there cannot be any direct use of this. Nobody was purifying this waste to recover the zinc. In November, 1964, Kamani Engineerng Corporation obtained permission from the Government of India to take up this work. The initial output of this plant was expected to be 600 tons annually, which would later be increased to 1,000 tons.
All these schemes were started after a lot of thought and experimentation, so there was no doubt about their success.
One of the most remarkable achievements of Kamani Industries was that it made new inroads in the field of non ferrous metals. In retrospection, these new inroads did not only benefit Kamani, but also benefitted the nation. To make proper use of the large amount of raw materials produced in the country to fulfil its industrial needs and to serve the nation was the inspiration and strength behind Kamani Industries and its founder, Ramjibhai.
Kamani Industries spent about twenty years in the field of non-ferrous metals. During this time they had taken up and developed a number of ventures in various industrial fields and expanded their operations. With this expansion, the confidence of Kamani Industries grew and they looked towards new fields, which they started and developed and this expansion is still going on.

New inroads began with the production of electric meters. The manufacture of reclaimed rubber was an entirely new field. Along with the plan to manufacture reclaimed rubber, a scheme was also put forward to manufacture carbon black. The carbon black and rubber industries are closely connected. This is because carbon black is extensively used in the production of rubber tyres. We have seen previously that the use of reclaimed rubber is widespread in the production of tyres.     '

   The Rationalization Committee of the Western Railways (Meter Gauge), with their instruments during their visit to inspect Kamani’s arsenical copper rods.

   Shri Kanaiyalal Munshi, who was the Minister of Agriculture at that time, Shri Ramjibhai and Shri Sadoba Patil during the ceremony when Kamani gifted a Fergusson Tractor to the Somnath Trust. The Chairman of Fergusson’s is giving a speech. 

       Shri Virendra Patil, the Chief Minister of Mysore at that time, inspecting the premises during his visit to the Kurla factory.


    The President of the Congress Party, at that time, Shri Nijalingappa, laying the foundation stone for another unit of Kamani Metals and Alloys Ltd. Next to him is Shri Virendra Patil, the Chief Minister of Mysore at that time.

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