Hooghly district

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This article is about the district. For its eponymous headquarters, see Hugli-Chuchura.
Hooghly district
হুগলী জেলা
District of West Bengal
Location of Hooghly district in West Bengal
Location of Hooghly district in West Bengal
Country India
State West Bengal
Administrative division Burdwan
Headquarters Chinsura
Government
 • Lok Sabha constituencies Arambagh (with 1 assembly segment in Paschim Medinipur), Hooghly, Sreerampur (with 2 assembly segments in Howrah district)
 • Assembly seats Uttarpara, Sreerampur, Champdani, Singur, Chandannagar, Chunchura, Balagarh, Pandua, Saptagram, Chanditala, Jangipara, Haripal, Dhanekhali, Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Arambag, Goghat, Khanakul
Area
 • Total 3,149 km2 (1,216 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 5,520,389
 • Density 1,800/km2 (4,500/sq mi)
Demographics
 • Literacy 82.55 %
 • Sex ratio 958
Major highways NH 2, NH 6, Grand Trunk Road
Average annual precipitation 1,500 mm
Website Official website

Hooghly district (/ˈhɡlɪ/) is one of the districts of the state of West Bengal in India. It can alternatively be spelt Hoogli or Hugli. The district is named after the Hooghly River.

The headquarters of the district are at Hooghly-Chinsura (Chuchura). There are 4 subdivisions in the district: Chinsura Sadar, Chandannagar, Serampore and Arambag.

History[edit]

The district of Hooghly derived its name from the town of Hooghly situated on the west bank of Hooghly River about 40 km north of Kolkata. This town was a river port in the fifteenth century. But, the district has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great Bengali kingdom of Bhurshut. The first European to reach this area was the Portuguese sailor Vasco-Da-Gama. In 1536 Portuguese traders obtained a permit from Sultan Mahmud Shah to trade in this area. In those days the Hooghly River was the main route for transportation and Hooghly served as an excellent trading port. Within a few decades the town of Hooghly turned into a major commercial center and the largest port in Bengal. Later in 1579-80 Emperor Akbar gave permission to a Portuguese captain Pedro Tavares to establish a city anywhere in the Bengal province. They normally chose Hooghly and thus Hooghly became the first European settlement in Bengal. In 1599 the Portuguese traders built a convent and a church in Bandel. This is the first Christian church in Bengal known as ‘Bandel Church’ today.

But the Portuguese traders started misusing their powers. They started slave-trading, robbery and converting natives into Christians by pressure. At one of point of time they even stopped paying taxes to the Mughal Empire. As a result Emperor Shah Jahan ordered the then ruler of Bengal province, Qasim Khan Juvayni to block the city of Hooghly. This eventually led to a war in which the Portuguese were defeated comprehensively.

Among other European powers that came to Hooghly were the Dutch, the Danish, the British, the French, the Belgians and the Germans. Dutch traders centered their activities in the town Chuchura which is just south to Hooghly. Chandannagar became the base of the French and the city remained under their control from 1816 to 1950. Similarly, the Danish establishment in settlement in Srirampur. All these towns are situated on the west bank of the Hooghly River and served as ports. But among these European countries, the British ultimately became most powerful.

Chinsurah N.S Road
Some village in Hooghly
Chandannagar Strand

Initially the British were based in and around the city of Hooghly like traders from other countries but in 1690 Job Charnock decided to shift the British trading center from Hooghly-Chinsura to Calcutta. The reason behind this decision was the strategically safe location of Calcutta and its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. As a result the center of gravity of trade and commerce in the Bengal province shifted from the town of Hooghly to Calcutta and Hooghly subsequently lost its importance as Calcutta prospered. After the Battle of Buxar this region was brought under direct British rule until India’s independence in 1947. After independence this district merged into the state of West Bengal.

Though the city of Hooghly is more than 500 years old; the district of Hooghly was formed in 1795 with the city of Hooghly as its headquarters. Later the headquarters shifted to the town of Chuchura. In 1843 the Howrah district was created from the southern portion of this district. And in 1872, the south-west portion of this district was merged into the Medinipur district. The last change in area occurred in 1966.

Antpur is a tourist spot in this district.

Singur Tata Nano controversy[edit]

Singur Tata Nano controversy

Geography[edit]

The district is a completely flat land with no place having more than an elevation of 200 meters. The River Hooghly borders it to the east. Another major river is 'Damodar'. The district is bordered by Howrah District to the south, Bardhaman District to the north, and to the east by the River Hooghly. Bankura District lies to the north-west, with Medinipur District to the south-west.

Economy[edit]

Hooghly is one of the most economically developed districts in West Bengal. It is also the main jute cultivation, jute industry, and jute trade hub in the state. There are also a number of industrial complexes including one of the largest car manufacturing plants in India, the 'Hindustan Motors' plant located in Uttarpara. The jute mills are located along the banks of the river Hooghly in Tribeni, Bhadreswar, Champdani and Sreerampur.

Divisions[edit]

Administrative subdivisions[edit]

The district comprises four subdivisions: Chinsurah, Chandannagore, Srirampore and Arambagh. Chinsurah subdivision consists of two municipalities (Hugli-Chuchura and Bansberia) and five community development blocs: Balagarh, Chinsurah–Mogra, Dhaniakhali, Pandua and Polba–Dadpur. Chandannagore subdivision consists of Chandannagar municipal corporation and three municipalities (Bhadreswar, Champdani and Tarakeswar) and three community development blocs: Haripal, Singur and Tarakeswar. Srirampore subdivision consists of six municipalities (Serampore, Uttarpara Kotrung, Dankuni, Konnagar, Rishra and Baidyabati) and four community development blocks: Chanditala–I, Chanditala–II, Jangipara and Sreerampur Uttarpara. Arambagh subdivision consists of Arambag municipality and six community development blocks: Arambag, Khanakul–I, Khanakul–II, Goghat–I, Goghat–II and Pursurah.[1]

Hugli-Chuchura is the district headquarters. There are 23 police stations, 18 development blocks, 12 municipalities and 210 gram panchayats in this district.[1][2]

Other than municipality area, each subdivision contains community development blocks which in turn are divided into rural areas and census towns. In total there are 40 urban units: 12 municipalities and 28 census towns.[2][3]

Chinsurah subdivision[edit]

  • Two municipalities: Hugli-Chuchura and Bansberia
  • Balagarh community development block consists of rural areas with 13 gram panchayats and one census town: Badhagachhi.
  • Chinsurah–Mogra community development block consists of rural areas with 10 gram panchayats and nine census towns: Kodalia, Raghunathpur, Madhusudanpur, Amodghata, Shankhanagar, Chak Bansberia, Kulihanda, Simla and Dharmapur, Saptagram[P.S. - Mogra].
  • Dhaniakhali community development block consists of rural areas only with 18 gram panchayats.
  • Pandua community development block consists of rural areas with 16 gram panchayats and one census town: Pandua.
  • Polba–Dadpur community development block consists of rural areas only with 12 gram panchayats.

Chandannagore subdivision[edit]

  • Chandannagar municipal corporation
  • Three municipalities: Bhadreswar, Champdani, and Tarakeswar
  • Haripal community development block consists of rural areas only with 15 gram panchayats.
  • Singur community development block consists of rural areas with 16 gram panchayats and one census town: Singur.
  • Tarakeswar community development block consists of rural areas only with 10 gram panchayats.

Serampore subdivision[edit]

Arambagh subdivision[edit]

  • One municipality: Arambag.
  • Arambag community development block consists of rural areas only with 15 gram panchayats.
  • Khanakul–I community development block consists of rural areas only with 13 gram panchayats.
  • Khanakul–II community development block consists of rural areas only with 11 gram panchayats.
  • Goghat–I community development block consists of rural areas only with 8 gram panchayats.
  • Goghat–II community development block consists of rural areas only with 9 gram panchayats.
  • Pursurah community development block consists of rural areas only with 8 gram panchayats.

Assembly constituencies[edit]

The district is divided into 19 assembly constituencies:[4]

  1. Jangipara (assembly constituency no. 177),
  2. Chanditala (assembly constituency no. 178),
  3. Uttarpara (assembly constituency no. 179),
  4. Serampore (assembly constituency no. 180),
  5. Champdani (assembly constituency no. 181),
  6. Chandernagore (assembly constituency no. 189),
  7. Singur (assembly constituency no. 183),
  8. Haripal (assembly constituency no. 184),
  9. Tarakeswar (assembly constituency no. 185),
  10. Chinsurah (assembly constituency no. 186),
  11. Bansberia (assembly constituency no. 187),
  12. Balagarh (SC) (assembly constituency no. 188),
  13. Pandua (assembly constituency no. 189),
  14. Polba (assembly constituency no. 190),
  15. Dhaniakhali (SC) (assembly constituency no. 191),
  16. Pursurah (assembly constituency no. 192),
  17. Khanakul (SC) (assembly constituency no. 193),
  18. Arambagh (assembly constituency no. 194) and
  19. Goghat (SC) (assembly constituency no. 195).

Balagarh, Dhaniakhali, Khanakul and Goghat constituencies are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) candidates. Along with two assembly constituencies from Howrah district, Jangipara, Chanditala, Uttarpara, Serampore and Champdani constituencies form the Serampore (Lok Sabha constituency). Chandernagore, Singur, Haripal, Chinsurah, Bansberia, Polba and Dhaniakhali constituencies form the Hooghly (Lok Sabha constituency). Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Khankul, Arambag and Goghat constituencies are part of the Arambagh (Lok Sabha constituency), which also contains two assembly segments in Paschim Medinipur district. Balagarh and Pandua constituencies are part of the Katwa (Lok Sabha constituency), which also contains five assembly constituency from Bardhaman district.

Impact of delimitation of constituencies[edit]

As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in the West Bengal, the district will be divided into 18 assembly constituencies:[5]

  1. Uttarpara (assembly constituency no. 185),
  2. Sreerampur (assembly constituency no. 186),
  3. Champdani (assembly constituency no. 187),
  4. Singur (assembly constituency no. 188),
  5. Chandannagar (assembly constituency no. 189),
  6. Chunchura (assembly constituency no. 190),
  7. Balagarh (SC) (assembly constituency no. 191),
  8. Pandua (assembly constituency no. 192),
  9. Saptagram (assembly constituency no. 193),
  10. Chanditala (assembly constituency no. 194),
  11. Jangipara (assembly constituency no. 195),
  12. Haripal (assembly constituency no. 196),
  13. Dhanekhali (SC) (assembly constituency no. 197),
  14. Tarakeswar (assembly constituency no. 198),
  15. Pursurah (assembly constituency no. 199),
  16. Arambag (SC) (assembly constituency no. 200),
  17. Goghat (SC) (assembly constituency no. 201) and
  18. Khanakul (assembly constituency no. 202).

Balagarh, Dhanekhali, Arambag and Goghat constituencies will be reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) candidates. Along with two assembly constituencies from Howrah district, Uttarpara, Sreerampur, Champdani, Chanditala and Jangipara constituencies will form the Sreerampur (Lok Sabha constituency). Singur, Chandannagar, Chunchura, Balagarh, Pandua, Saptagram and Dhanekhali constituencies will form the Hooghly (Lok Sabha constituency). Haripal, Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Arambag, Goghat and Khankul constituencies will be part of the Arambag (Lok Sabha constituency), which will also contain one assembly segments in Paschim Medinipur district.

Police administration[edit]

Hooghly District comes under Burdwan Police Range. The police chief of the district is the superintendent of police. His office is in Chinsurah.

For the functioning of 23 police stations of the district, District Intelligence Branch, District Enforcement Branch and District Reserve Police Force SP, Hooghly is assisted by three additional superintendents:

  • HQ: Having his office at Chinsurah, he looks after the Sadar Sub-Division and District Police Force, being assisted by Dy.S.P. (HQ) and Dy.S.P. (D&T).
  • Industrial: He is located at Serampore. He is the supervising officer for Serampore and Chandernagore Sub Divisions, assisted by SDPO: Serampore and SDPO: Chandernagore.
  • Rural: He is in Arambagh and is the supervising officer for Arambagh Sub Division; being assisted by SDPO: Arambagh.

Transport[edit]

Rail[edit]

The railway communication of the district, especially at the suburban area is very developed.

Bandel Junction is the railway headquarters of the district. Bandel is the largest and the busiest rail station of the district and a vital junction station of India. There are four junction stations in Hooghly:

  • Bandel
  • Dankuni
  • Kamarkundu
  • Seoraphuli

The railway of the district is under Howrah Division. The first train of ER started its journey from Howrah to Hooghly. Hooghly station was announced as the heritage station.

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 census Hooghly district has a population of 5,520,389,[6] roughly equal to the nation of Denmark[7] or the US state of Wisconsin.[8] This gives it a ranking of 16th in India (out of a total of 640).[6] The district has a population density of 1,753 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,540 /sq mi) .[6] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 9.49%.[6] Hugli has a sex ratio of 958 females for every 1000 males,[6] and a literacy rate of 82.55%.[6]

Education[edit]

There are 2992 primary schools, 408 high schools, 127 higher secondary schools, 22 colleges, and 6 technical institutes in Hooghly district.

The most notable institutions among them are:

  • Hooghly Mohsin College
  • Chandannagore College
  • Hooghly Collegiate School
  • Hooghly Gourhari Harijan Vidyamandir
  • Chatra Nandalal Institution
  • Duff High School
  • Don Bosco School
  • Bandel
  • Auxilium Convent School
  • Hooghly Branch School
  • Hooghly Binodini Girls High School
  • Gosswami Malipara High School
  • Dwarbasini Kumar Rajendra High School
  • Durgapur Primary School
  • Dumurpur Primary School
  • Mahesh High School
Chandernagore Govt. College

Places of Interest[edit]

  • Bandel is famous for the Bandel Church. Bandel is the birthplace of the eminent writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
  • Tarakeswar is a renowned place of pilgrimage and the greatest centre of the Shiva sect in West Bengal.
  • Chandannagar is an important and nice town of Hooghly and famous for Jagaddhatri puja and awesome lighting.
  • Chinsurah is the district headquarters and a historical town of Hooghly. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay composed the "Vande Mataram," the national song of India, at Chinsurah. The Dutch villa is separated at Joraghat and Townguard. They are called 'Mondal Bari' as they are now under the aristocratic ownership of the Mondal family. One can see the Dutch lioness murals on the entrance doors and allied wooden motifs. In spite of such historical background, a major portion of the original Dutch villa at Townguard road, where once nationalist leaders used to held meetings and conferences, had been demolished and gone into the hands of builders/promoters. The back portion and the joraghat Mondal house with Dutch acknowledgement are intact. The hierarchy of inheritance is becoming weak and the landmark assets needs urgent preservation as well as heritage status application
  • Kamarpukur is the birthplace of Sri Sri Ramakrishna dev.
  • Mahesh-Serampore: The Ratha Yatra of Mahesh is the oldest Ratha Yatra after Puri Ratha-Yatra.
Bandel Basilica

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Directory of District, Sub division, Panchayat Samiti/ Block and Gram Panchayats in West Bengal, March 2008". West Bengal. National Informatics Centre, India. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Municipal General Election 2005: Hooghly District". Official website of Hooghly district. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  3. ^ "Population, Decadal Growth Rate, Density and General Sex Ratio by Residence and Sex, West Bengal/ District/ Sub District, 1991 and 2001". West Bengal. Directorate of census operations. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  4. ^ "General election to the Legislative Assembly, 2001–List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). West Bengal. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  5. ^ "Press Note, Delimitation Commission" (PDF). Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Delimitation Commission. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  7. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Denmark 5,529,888 July 2011 est." 
  8. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "Wisconsin 5,686,986" 

External links[edit]