was once a small village, surrounded by Cashew forest. Predominantly being a
wasteland except the Cashews & Jackfruit trees, the lignite bed was
first identified here by a landlord named Jambulingam mudaliar.
He was a resident of Vayapattu village near Nellikuppam. He owned about 600
acres of land, covering Mandarakuppam, Cuddalore, Virudhachalam and Neyveli.
almost bulk of these lands remaining uncultivated, Jambulingam mudaliar
thought of converting these lands, into cultivable lands. He built a bore
well. To his astonishment the waterbed was available only at low depth.
1932 the cultivation began in the Neyveli village. The farmers found some
black brown particles coming along with the water. They just ignored it and
threw it upon the sand besides their field. These particles got ignited when
they dried up. Jambulingam mudaliar, a well educated scholar, thought that
this could be a fuel of great importance, though he was not sure about its
identity. He informed about this to the then British Governor urging him to
start an industry using this fuel.
Jambulingam mudaliar could not get success in his attempts to persuade the
Government to start the industry. All his attempts went vain. After a long
gap in 1943 the Government started making bore wells. Between 1943-1947
almost 33 bore wells were erected and the potential of the Lignite was
confirmed. But only after 1953 the mine work was started. It was a trial
attempt. Mr.Ghosh was given the task and about 100 tonnes of lignite was
brought out, which got him the name "lignite Ghosh". The lignite
was found to be one of the superior variety.
Central government of India started the Neyveli Lignite
Corporation in 1956. India signed MOU with Germany to dig the
first mine of about 14sq.km. This becomes the largest open cast mine in
India. The then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru dedicated the
Neyveli mine to the nation on May 20,1957. The Lignite was taken out in
1962. In the same year with the help of USSR, the first Thermal power
station was started by the then President of India Dr. Radhakrishnan.
Thereafter Neyveli stretched its progress to unimaginable extents with a
township for its employees and today it is the country’s Energy Bridge for
the 21st century