The British Raj developed India with roads, railways, electricity, telephones and the telegraph.
In 1850, the first experimental electric telegraph Line was started between Kolkata and Diamond Harbor. In 1851, it was opened for the British East India Company.
The Posts and Telegraphs department occupied a small corner of the Public Works Department, at that time. Construction of 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of telegraph lines connecting Kolkata (Calcutta) and Peshawar in the north via Agra, Mumbai (Bombay) through Sindwa Ghats, and Chennai in the south, as well as Ootacamund and Bangalore was started in November 1853.
Dr. William O'Shaughnessy, who pioneered telegraph and telephone in India, belonged to the Public Works Department. He tried his level best for the development of telecom through out this period. A separate department was opened in 1854 when telegraph facilities were opened to the public.