History Of Lahore Electric Supply Company

Qasim Khan Lahore

In February, 1912 the Lahore Electric Supply Company was formed with a capital of Rs. 5,00,000. The Company was registered on March 21, 1912. Lala Harkishen Lal became the first Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company. The construction of the equipment having been completed, supply was commenced on November, 18 1912 though the grant of the licence was not formally gazette till full seven days later. 

The opening ceremony was performed in the Gol Bagh by the then Lieutenant Governor, His Honour Sir Louis Dane. The gardens lights, a unique spectacle for the citizens of Lahore. 

The Government buildings were the first to be electrified. Applications for connections poured in fast. Within a few months (upto the close of the financial year ending March 31, 1913). The number of consumers had reached 98. By the next year the figure reached 542, and in the subsequent year rose to 884. 

The Company ordered out one 150 Kilowatt Diesel generating set from the British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company Limited, one 150 Kilowatt rotary convertor and the necessary 

The Company made the best of a bad bargain and arranged to given Direct Current supply to the city by extending mains from the civil station and converting the distribution mains from Alternating Current system to the Director Current System about the end of December, 1916. 

The source of Direct Current supply being too far from the city area, the supply within the walled city was defective. It was then decided to continue the Direct Current supply in the city by converting the Alternating Current supply generated at the Mcleod Road Power House by making some make-shift arrangement. This was helped by the 6600-volt underground cable already laid between Mcleod Road Power House and Lauge Mandi sub-station and the rotary convertor already erected at the latter place. A low tension alternator, which was received with the Durbar plant from the Irrigation Department, replaced the D.C generator of one of the generating sets in use. 

In 1917 and 1918 the Company was able to declare a dividend of 12 per cent. During these years the demand for energy exceeded the available supply capacity. The Company, however, succeeded in purchasing locally two Babcock and Wilcox water tube boilers, complete with mechanical stokers. Additional generating sets were not found till 1920 when one 300 kilowatt steam-engine set was obtained from England. In the same year, two new Lancashire boilers, one induced draft fan, super-heaters and economizers were ordered out and put into service the next year.

Towards the close of the year 1918, the Company decided to re-organize and a scheme was prepared to provide an up-to-date electric supply scheme in order to meet all requirements of the future, including the municipal street lighting and the requirements of Lahore Cantonment. A plot of land was purchased at Badami Bagh for an up-to-date central power station. The Military Authorities, however, dis-approved of the proposed central station site at Badami Bagh. They desired, for military reasons, that a site nearer the Cantonment should be selected. It was therefore , decided to have a site on Mayo Road, but until 1920 no site could be secured owing to prolonged correspondence that look place between the company and the Military Authorities, on the one hand, and the Company and the Government, on the other, on the subject.