CESC Limited




“The Private Power Utility serving the twin metropolis of Kolkata & Howrah


The Story of Electricity in the City of






First demonstrations of electric light

The first demonstration of electric light in Calcutta was conducted on 24 July, 1879 by P W Fleury & Co. In 1881, 36 electric lights lit up a Cotton Mill of  Mackinnon & Mackenzie

The first license

The Government of Bengal passed the Calcutta Electric Lighting Act in 1895.

The first license covered an area of 5.64 square miles. In 1897, The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited was registered in London.

The first thermal power plant in India

On 17th April 1899, the first thermal power plant of The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Limited was commissioned at Emambagh Lane, heralding the beginning of thermal power generation in India.

Soon, electric fans took Calcutta by storm

Calcutta Tramways switched to electricity from horse drawn carriages in 1902.

Growth beyond expectation The demand for power grew beyond expectation. Three more stations were started: Alipore in 1902, Ultadanga and Howrah in 1906.

1912 - Cossipore Generating Station commissioned

Replaced the four power houses by one.

Street lighting  1914-1916: 1000 candle power Keiths lamps were installed on Corporation Street and Chowringhee

1926- Southern Generating Station commissioned .



Underwater cables to Howrah   Jute mill owners showed interest in the new power. The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation laid cables under the pontoon bridge on the Hooghly.

Tunneling the Hooghly - a marvel in engineering    A tunnel was constructed under the river Hooghly in 1931. This was 690 yards long, 6 feet in diameter and 90 feet underground and still remains a marvel in engineering. 

1940 - Mulajore Generating Station commissioned and  still in service !

1950 - New Cossipore Generating Station (130 MW) commissioned

Load Shedding : From the early 1970's, load shedding became a household word, the intensity increasing steadily till 1983 when CESC was allowed to set up a 4 x 60 MW Generating Station at Titagarh.

London Head Office shifts to Calcutta   In 1970, the control of the Company was transferred from London to Calcutta. In 1978 it  became a rupee company with the new name - The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (India) Ltd.

The RPG association adds new vitality  CESC's association with RPG, one of India's top industrial houses, began in 1989, when Mr. R P Goenka was inducted into the Board of Directors

More Generating Stations added:

1990 – 2 x 67.5 MW at Southern

1998 – 2 x 250 MW at Budge Budge