[RECORD NOMINATION] Asian Records Institute (ASRI) – P5. Chatham saw mill (India) : The oldest and biggest saw mill in Asia.


(WorldKings.org) The Chatham Government Saw Mill, established in 1883 is Asia’s largest and oldest saw mill.

Chatham Saw Mill was established in 1883 and more than a century later it is still functioning as Asia’s Oldest Saw Mill under the aegis of the government. The saw mill is named after the island Chatham where it is located. Chatham is like an extension of Port Blair connected by a wooden bridge made in the saw mill which was later replaced by a concrete one. It is the gateway to Mt Harriet and other smaller islands.



Now, the mill is a big store house for different varieties of wood including Marble, Padauk, Gurjan and Satin wood. The mill has an installed capacity for sawing about 20,000 cum logs annually in three shifts. All the major timber trees of the Islands are used as raw material in the mill. The mill is functioning as the main source of timber for government and private agencies at a moderate price. This mill processes many types of ornamental wood suitable for making furniture and handicrafts. The export of timber from the Islands to the mainland is strictly prohibited. The mill at present gives direct employment to about 750 persons.




The working of the mill is attributed to different sections that work in coordination, as the segregation of the logs is the responsibility of the log depot. The conversion of round logs into different sizes is the responsibility of the mill section. Preservative and seasoning of the wood is the responsibility of the Timber processing unit. The other units present in the mill are Construction unit, Mechanical Unit, Saw Doctoring Unit etc., guides are hired by the travellers for a brief tour of the mill.



The Department of Environment & Forests has established a modern Museum in September 2006 in the Mill Complex. The museum exhibits beautiful photographs of historical importance as well as about the general working of the Department of Environment & Forests. It also exhibits souvenirs and various handicrafts on timber. The products are distinct with its intricate carving, polishing, designing and skilled craftsmanship.




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