A look back at how Coimbatore evolved

November 24, 2022 08:49 pm | Updated November 25, 2022 08:14 am IST - COIMBATORE

Coimbatore Collector’s office in 1905

Coimbatore Collector’s office in 1905 | Photo Credit: File Photo

A view of the Coimbatore Collectorate at present.

A view of the Coimbatore Collectorate at present. | Photo Credit: S. Siva Saravanan

A district that came into being over 200 years ago has transformed into an inclusive, industrialised, developing place with the pride of being the second largest economy in the State.

With the Western Ghats forming the district’s boundary on three sides and River Cauvery on the other, the district was originally spread over 15, 602 sq.km.

Historian C.R. Elangovan says that after the death of Tipu Sultan in the fourth Anglo-Mysore War on May 4, 1799, the English East India Company took over the Kongu region and appointed officers for administration. The region was then divided into Coimbatore north and Coimbatore south, with Bhavani and Dharapuram as the headquarters respectively.

Major W. Macleod was appointed as the Collector of Coimbatore North, and T.B. Hurdis was Collector, Coimbatore South.

Five years after that, on November 24, 1804, Coimbatore was declared as the headquarters for the district. It had under it 10 taluks that included Kollegal and Palakkad (now part of Karnataka and Kerala respectively). The present-day Erode, the Nilgiris, Tiruppur, and parts of Karur districts were also Coimbatore district.

C.N. Ramachandran, who authored “Idhuvo Engal Kovai”. says in the book that naming of Coimbatore as a district headquarters gave the impetus for development here. While W. Garrow, ICS, was the Collector from 1802-1803, H. Greame was the Collector in-charge from 1803 to 1805.

City chronicler Rajesh Govindarajulu adds that nourished by the Noyyal now, the district on the rainshadow region of the Western Ghats, had the administrative machinery run from a Mahal on Raja Street when the region was under the control of the Mysore kingdom. Later too, Oppanakkara Street and Raja Street were the centres for economy and administration even during the British Administration, he says.

According to the district Gazetteer, local administration began in Coimbatore in 1863 with the passing of Education Cess and District Road Cess Act III, which brought local roads and local education under the direct charge of the local people. Further, the Town Improvement Act of 1865 paved the way for Coimbatore Municipality.

G. S. Sameeran, the 182nd Collector, told The Hindu he takes pride to be in this prestigious post. “The District has evolved through many challenges such as famine, plague outbreak in the 19th century, to be what it is now, because of the hard work of Coimbatoreans.”

Cultivation of cotton, establishment of textile mills, industries, educational institutions, and many more, the growth story of Coimbatore is big, the Collector said.

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