Steam Boilers are of very ancient origin.
The introduction of famous James Watt's improved steam engine
from 1769 to 1775 onwards resulted in great improvement in
In the year 1863, a very serious boiler explosion occurred
in Calcutta which caused the loss of several lives. As a result
of this explosion, the necessity of inspection of boilers
was widely recognised and a bill was introduced in the Bengal
Council to provide for the inspection of steam boilers. In
the year 1864, the Bengal Act VI of 1864 was passed which
provided for the inspection of steam boilers and prime movers
in the town and suburbs of Calcutta. This is the beginning
of boiler legislation in India.
Following the Bengal Act of 1864, each of the other provinces
framed legislation. At that time there were seven different
Acts and seven different sets of rules and regulations. Those
Acts and rules & regulations were inconsistent with one
another. As the differences in the Acts and rules and regulations
among the various provinces in India gave rise to many difficulties
and hampered the development of industries, the Central Government
appointed a committee called "The Boiler Law Committee"
in 1920 to examine and report on the general question of boiler
legislation in India.
The Boiler Laws Committee, 1920-21, the first to review the
boiler laws on a national scale reported in March, 1921. The
report criticised the differences in the Acts, rules and regulations.
The report also pointed out that in the inspection of boilers
the personal element was a weighty factor, and the difference
in regulations resulted in what was termed as "provincial
jealousy". The report stressed that all provinces should
be subject to the same regulations and work done in one province
should be accepted as correct in another province. The Committee
recommended that regulations to cover the standard conditions
for material, design and construction of boilers should be
framed by Government of India and make applicable to all the
provinces. The report also pointed out that regulations were
entirely of technical nature and there was no reason for which
these regulations would be affected by local conditions. The
Committee prepared a draft Act on the lines of which, the
basic All-India Act was passed in 1923. The Boiler Laws Committee
also prepared a uniform set of technical regulations and a
model set of administrative rules. A sharp distinction was
drawn between the regulations and the rules. The regulations
referred entirely to technical matters where as the rules
referred to questions concerning the administration of the
Act. Indian Boiler act, 1923 provides for the safety of life
and property of persons from the danger of explosion of boilers.
The Government of India Act, 1935 assigned the subject 'Boilers'
to the concurrent field. The provision for constituting Central
Boilers Board having the authority to make regulations consistent
with the Act was made in the Indian Boilers (Amendment) Act,
1937. A Board called the Central Boilers Board was accordingly
constituted in the year 1937.
The Central Boilers Board in exercise of the powers conferred
under section 28 of the said Act, formulated regulations on
boilers. The current version of these regulations is known
as the Indian Boiler Regulations, 1950 with amendments up
to 22nd February, 2005.