Barasat

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Barasat
neighborhood in Kolkata
Four-track rail station, with three platforms and a pedestrian overpass
Barasat is located in West Bengal
Barasat
Barasat
Location in West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 22°43′N 88°29′E / 22.72°N 88.48°E / 22.72; 88.48Coordinates: 22°43′N 88°29′E / 22.72°N 88.48°E / 22.72; 88.48
Country India
State West Bengal
District North 24 Parganas
Government
 • Municipality Chairman Sunil Mukherjee[1]
 • MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar
 • MLA Chiranjeet
Area
 • Total 34.06 km2 (13.15 sq mi)
Elevation 4 m (13 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 278,235
 • Density 2,223/km2 (5,760/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Bengali, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 700124 to 700127
Telephone code 91 33 2542
Vehicle registration WB25(Commercial), WB26
Lok Sabha constituency Barasat
Vidhan Sabha constituency Barasat
Website north24parganas.nic.in

Barasat (/ˈbɑːrəˌsʌt/) is a neighborhood in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, and the headquarters of the North 24 Parganas district and Barasat Sadar subdivision. It is a regional transportation hub[2] at a rail and road junction. Several roads, including National Highway 12 (formerly NH 34, towards North Bengal), National Highway 112 (Jessore Road, leading to the Bangladesh border at Petrapole), and the road to Basirhat pass through the town.

History[edit]

During the Mogul period, Sankar Chakraborty (a commander of the zamindar Pratapaditya and king of Jessore in present-day Bangladesh) came to Barasat in 1600 and established himself. In 1700, Hazarat Ekdil Shah moved to the town and was known as a social reformer. His tomb, in Kazipara, is a pilgrimage site for the Muslim community. Pratapaditya made his way to Kolkata from Jessore; Sirajudullah went to Kolkata from Murshidabad via Barasat, on a road which became two national highways.

Under the British Raj, East India Company officials from Calcutta (Kolkata) made Barasat a weekend retreat and built houses with gardens. Warren Hastings built his villa in the heart of Barasat, and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was the town's first Indian deputy magistrate.

Indigo cultivation was a major industry, and indigo merchants were known for their inhumane treatment of farmers. Titumir, a farmer, fomented a revolution against indigo merchants in Barasat. Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Pyari Charan Sarkar, and Kalikrishna Mitra were known for social reformation in the town, including women's education and widow remarriage. During the early nineteenth century, Barasat Cadet College trained new recruits and cadets from Europe; the college closed in 1811.[3][4]

From 1834 to 1861, Barasat was the seat of Barasat District. The district became a subdivision of the Twenty-four Parganas district in 1861,[3] and Barasat is the headquarters of North 24 Parganas district.[5]

Geography and climate[edit]

Barasat is located in eastern India's Ganges Delta. The Bangladesh border, at Petrapole, is 70–80 kilometres (43–50 mi) from the city.

Its average elevation is 11 metres (36 ft). The nearest river is the Ganges, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the west, and it is on the Gangetic plain.

Barasat has a tropical climate similar to the rest West Bengal. The region experiences a monsoon from early June to mid-September. The climate is dry in winter (mid-November to mid-February) and humid in summer.


Climate data for Kolkata (Alipore) 1971–1990
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.8
(91)
38.4
(101.1)
41.1
(106)
43.3
(109.9)
43.7
(110.7)
43.9
(111)
39.9
(103.8)
38.4
(101.1)
38.9
(102)
39.0
(102.2)
34.9
(94.8)
32.5
(90.5)
43.9
(111)
Average high °C (°F) 26.4
(79.5)
29.1
(84.4)
33.5
(92.3)
35.3
(95.5)
35.4
(95.7)
34.0
(93.2)
32.3
(90.1)
32.1
(89.8)
32.4
(90.3)
32.3
(90.1)
30.3
(86.5)
27.0
(80.6)
31.7
(89.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 20.1
(68.2)
23.0
(73.4)
27.6
(81.7)
30.2
(86.4)
30.7
(87.3)
30.3
(86.5)
29.2
(84.6)
29.1
(84.4)
29.1
(84.4)
28.2
(82.8)
24.9
(76.8)
20.8
(69.4)
26.9
(80.4)
Average low °C (°F) 13.8
(56.8)
16.9
(62.4)
21.7
(71.1)
25.1
(77.2)
26.0
(78.8)
26.5
(79.7)
26.1
(79)
26.1
(79)
25.8
(78.4)
23.9
(75)
19.6
(67.3)
14.5
(58.1)
22.2
(72)
Record low °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
7.2
(45)
10.0
(50)
16.1
(61)
17.9
(64.2)
20.4
(68.7)
20.6
(69.1)
22.6
(72.7)
20.6
(69.1)
17.2
(63)
10.6
(51.1)
7.2
(45)
6.7
(44.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 11
(0.43)
30
(1.18)
35
(1.38)
60
(2.36)
142
(5.59)
288
(11.34)
411
(16.18)
349
(13.74)
288
(11.34)
143
(5.63)
26
(1.02)
17
(0.67)
1,800
(70.87)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 1.2 2.2 3.0 4.8 8.7 14.7 20.5 20.2 15.7 8.1 1.5 0.9 101.5
Average relative humidity (%) 66 58 58 66 70 77 83 83 81 73 67 68 71
Mean monthly sunshine hours 203.9 201.2 225.8 235.4 227.1 123.1 93.1 104.9 116.2 182.6 190.8 203.4 2,107.5
Source #1: NOAA[6]
Source #2: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[7]

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 Indian census, Barasat had a total population of 278,235; 140,882 (51 %) were males and 137,613 (49 %) females, and 22,605 were under age six. The literacy rate was 89.69 percent of the population over age six (229,279 people).[8] The town's population increased from 237,783 in 2001. The literacy rate that year was 77 percent, higher than the national average of 59.5 percent. Of the literate population, 54 percent were male and 46 percent female.[9] Barasat was part of the Kolkata Urban Agglomeration in the 2011 census.[10]

Economy[edit]

Cotton weaving is Barasat's major industry, and the town is a trade centre for rice, legumes, sugarcane, potatoes, and coconuts.[2] About 32,000 people commute daily from Barasat to Kolkata. Fifty-eight trains transport commuters from 24 stations in the town's Sealdah-Bangaon section, and 32 trains carry commuters from 30 stations in the Seadah-Hasnabad section.[11]

Administration[edit]

Closed gate with an arch reading "Circuit House"
Front gate of Barasat Circuit House, a government guest house

Although Barasat Municipality was established on 1 April 1869, it had no independent existence until 1882. It was controlled by the magistrate office (and its magistrate), without a chairman. In 1882, Barasat Municipality was formed and a local government was created. Barasat Association, a citizen organization, donated land for the construction of municipal buildings.

Barasat is divided into 29 mouzas. There were originally four wards, later increasing to 18. After surrounding panchayats were incorporated in 1995, the number of wards increased to 32. In 2015, before the municipal election, the number of wards increased to 35.[5] Barasat is part of the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, for which the KMDA is the statutory planning and development authority.[12] The KMDA manages the area's infrastructure development.[13]

The district court handles local and national cases. The Barasat police have a jurisdiction of 4.6 square kilometres (1.8 sq mi), and serves a population of 417,663 in the Barasat municipal area. There are two police outposts (in Barasat and Badu), and a women's police station in the town.[14]

Zilla Parishad (district council)[edit]

The Zilla Parishad of North 24 Parganas was founded on 26 June 1986, with the north-south bifurcation of the 24 Parganas district. The highest tier of the three-tier panchayati raj system, its headquarters are at Barasat. It has six riverine panchayat samitis in the Sundarbans, which has a saline tract on one side and rich alluvial tracts of the Ichamati River basin and industrial belt of Barrackpore on the other side. Its territory extends on the east to the Bangladesh border.[15]

Transport[edit]

Road[edit]

White, four-story building on a street
Dukbangalo More, at the junction of NH34 and NH35
Street with a variety of vehicles: bicycles, a car and a motorcycle
Chapadali More, at the junction of NH35 and Bashirhat Road
Many buses, mostly blue-and-orange
Central Bus Terminal

Barasat is connected by road to Kolkata, North Bengal, Bangladesh and other West Bengal cities; many of the routes originate from the bus terminal. National Highways 24 and 35 and State Highway 2 run through the town.

Barasat is a road junction. NH 12 (formerly Krishnanagar Road) runs to North Bengal and is the major link between Kolkata and North-East India. Jessore Road (NH 112) leads to Bongaon and the Bangladesh border at Petrapole. Taki Road leads to Basirhat, Hasnabad and Taki via Berachampa. Barrackpore Road links National Highway 112 at Barasat with the Kalyani Expressway and Barrackpore.

Crossroads include:

  • Champadali More – a town centre, where the NH35 is divided by Jessore Road and Bashirhat Road. Several bus routes are available there.
  • Colony More – the junction of Krishna Nagar Highway and Barrackpore Highway, connected to Kolkata
  • Duck Banglow More — the junction of Jessore Road and Krishnanagar Highway

Rail[edit]

The town is connected by rail to Sealdah, Bongaon and Basirhat. Barasat is 22 km from the Sealdah railway station on the Sealdah–Bangaon branch line, and is at one end of the Barasat-Basirhat-Hasnabad branch line of the Eastern Railway zone.[16]

Barasat Junction is the town's main rail station, on the Bongaon line (North Section). This junction is where the Bongaon and Hasnabad-Basirhat lines of Kolkata Suburban Railway separate. The Barasat–Basirhat Railway, originally operated by Martin's Light Railways, is a section (BT-HNB) of the Sealdah division of Eastern Railway. The town has two other rail stations: Hridaypur (on the Sealdah-Bongaon line) and Kazipara (on the Barasat-Hasnabad line).

Air[edit]

Barasat is served by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, about 11 km away, with domestic and international terminals.

Culture[edit]

Building with a wall and statue
Rabinrda Bhaban, a cultural hall

Barasat's culture is characteristic of small towns in Bengal. The middle class participates in the Bengali cultural traditions of drama, recitation, classical music, songs, and dances; young people publish little magazines and run social programs, such as health check-up camps.

The town has religious ashrams, such as Pranabananda, Prabhu Jagadbandhu, Shibananda Dham, Shankar Moth O Mission, Sree Sree Yogashram and Hazarat Ekdil Shah Darga. There are several Christian churches in Barasat, including the Assemblies of God church on the NH34.

Events and activities are organized throughout the year. Cultural diversity has increased, with people coming from elsewhere in India and Bangladesh. Rabindra Bhavan is a cultural building erected by the West Bengal State Cultural Department on Jessore Road. Muslims and Hindus have attended an annual fair held in honor of a Muslim saint, Hazrat Ekdil Shah, for centuries. Clubs organize another event, Kalipuja, in which the community joins.

Education[edit]

Green-and-white building with signs
Kali Krisha Girls High School
Light-coloured, two-story building
Barasat Government High School
Two- and three-story buildings
Priyanath Junior Basic Institution and Banamalipur Santosh Bhattacharya Memorial High School

Barasat's schools are run by the state government or private organizations. The schools primarily use English or Bengali as the medium of instruction. They are affiliated with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), or the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Under the 10+2+3 plan, after completing their secondary education students typically enroll in a school with a higher secondary facility affiliated with West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, CISCE or CBSE. Students usually choose from one of three streams (liberal arts, commerce or science), although vocational streams are also available. Upon completing the required coursework, students may enroll in a general- or professional-degree programme. The town's secondary-education system includes Barasat Peary Charan Sarkar Government High School, Barasat Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School, Nabapally Boys' High School, Kalikrishna Girls' High School, The Central Modern School, Barasat Satya Bharati Vidya Pith, Auxilium Convent School , Aditya Academy (Senior Secondary) and Barasat Indira Gandhi Memorial High School.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Large, gated building with signs
Barasat Government College
  • Barasat Government College
  • Barasat College, previously Evening College
  • RKVM Sarada Ma Girls College, Barasat's first women's college
  • Brainware University, an engineering and management college affiliated with the West Bengal University of Technology and accredited by the AICTE
  • Adamas Institute of Technology, an engineering college affiliated with the WBUT and approved by the AICTE
  • Camellia School Of Engineering and Technology, an engineering college affiliated with the WBUT
  • Kingston Educational Institute, a polytechnic, law, management and science college affiliated with the WBUT
  • West Bengal State University, created from the University of Calcutta in 2008. All North 24 Parganas colleges formerly affiliated with the University of Calcutta are affiliated with WBSU.
  • Adamas University, founded in 2014 with schools of engineering and technology, science, social science, law and justice, economics and commerce, management, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology

Sports[edit]

Barasat Stadium hosts Calcutta Football League matches and district-, state- and occasional national-level volleyball and football tournaments. The Barasat Sub-Division Sports Association, founded in 1940, has 24 fully affiliated and 15 sectionally affiliated clubs. Residents play football, cricket and traditional Indian sports such as kabbadi and kho-kho.

Healthcare[edit]

The North 24 Parganas District Hospital (Barasat State General Hospital) is the town's major healthcare facility. Barasat Cancer Research and Welfare Center is a treatment and research facility, and the town has several privately operated nursing homes and hospitals.

Notable residents[edit]

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was the deputy magistrate of 24 Parganas during the 19th century. Graves Haughton became a cadet in 1808, and received his first commission on 13 March 1810 from Barasat cadet institution. Haughton was fluent in Indian (Hindustani) languages, and received the sword of merit and a monetary award from the Barasat institution. He studied regional languages at the College of Fort William in Calcutta, receiving seven medals, three degrees of honor and monetary awards for proficiency in Arabic, Persian, Hindustani (Hindi), Sanskrit and Bengali. Haughton was a lieutenant, a noted orientalist, a Knight of The Royal Guelphic Order, a member of the Asiatic Society and a published author.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official District Administration site Archived 15 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b "Barasat | India". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-11-23. 
  3. ^ a b Hunter, William Wilson (1885). The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Trübner & co. p. 123. 
  4. ^ Wheeler, Mortimer (1935). The Cambridge History of India. Cambridge University Press (CUP). p. 161. 
  5. ^ a b "Barasat" (PDF). jnnurmwestbengal.gov.in. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Calcutta/Alipore Climate Normals 1971-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Ever recorded Maximum and minimum temperatures upto 2010" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ "2011 Census – Primary Census Abstract Data Tables". West Bengal – District-wise. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 29 May 2018. 
  9. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008. 
  10. ^ "Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011" (PDF). Constituents of Urban Agglomeration Having Population Above 1 Lakh. Census of India 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2018. 
  11. ^ Dey, Teesta. "The Suburban Railway Network of Kolkata: A Geographical Apprisal" (PDF). eTraverse, the Indian journal of spatial science, 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2018. 
  12. ^ "Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authoity, Annual Report 2010-11". 1/1 Kolkata Metropolitan Area Map. KMDA. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  13. ^ "Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, Annual Report 2010-11". 1 / 2 Role of KMDA. KMDA. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  14. ^ "North 24 Parganas Dist. Police". Know Your Police Station. District Police. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  15. ^ "Barasat Zilla Parishad". north24parganas.gov.in. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Eastern Railway timetable.
  17. ^ Dictionary of National Biography
  18. ^ http://odnb2.ifactory.com/view/article/12611[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]