Guwahati’s First Streetlights & Electricity
Today’s Guwahati is a metropolitan city. Almost every road and by-lane has streetlight posts, albeit at times without the bulbs and often without electric supply.
Do you know when did the city get its first streetlight? History records Guwahati getting its first streetlights around 1888. These were actually gas-lamps. During the early part of the twentieth century, around 1903, streetlights were incorporated in Guwahati on a contractual basis. These were kerosene lamps.
Such lamps were reportedly seen at Uzanbazar, on Bharalumukh Bridge, Hedayatpur, Dighalipukhuri, Panbazar, Fancy Bazar and a few other areas. The lamp posts were made of iron.
Electricity was first introduced in Guwahati in 1927. The house for production and supply of electricity was located at Paltan Bazar, near the present Bijulee Bhawan. Opposite to that was the office of the Guwahati Electric Supply Company that supplied electricity to the city. It was majorly owned by Dr Bidhan Chandra Rai, former chief minister of West Bengal (1948-1962) and the mother company was Development of Industries Limited, Calcutta. Rajen Basu was the manager of Guwahati Electrics.
Every consumer household had an aluminium plate above the main switch mentioning danger and the precautionary measures to be taken.