Today, the Bardhaman district is considered one of the most valuable industrial belts of not only West Bengal, but the whole of India. Industries here got a major boost amid 1995-1965 and the places like Durgapur, Asansol, Raniganj, Burnpur, Kulti, and Chittranjan witnessed major industrial outgrowth. However, Asansol and Durgapur Subdivisions are the two major industrial belts of this region.
Due to availability of two major natural resources that is iron ore and coal, the western part of the district has turned into major industrial belt. It can be said that Durgapur and Asansol Subdivisions provide the best suitable infrastructure and climate to stimulate the industrial growth in and surrounding the Bardhaman district. There is a rising demand of industrial products in India and abroad which has induced a lot of foreign investments since the post independence era. At present, there is an abundant supply of raw materials for the domestic plants. This has tremendously benefitted and saved the industries in Bardhaman from paying for heavy import costs.
Many ventures in the region are supported by heavy engineering, coal chemicals and fertilizers as most of the industries here are based on coal, iron and steel products. Again, hydro-electric program stirred up by water resources and coal based thermal power generation program have given major thrust to the district and its adjoining areas. Major industries in Bardhaman are Durgapur Steel Plant, Durgapur Fertilizers, Alloy Steels Raniganj Coalfield, IISCO, Chittranjan Locomotive Works, Hindustan Cables Limited, and many more.
Bardhaman District is also known as the Granary of West Bengal. Geographically, the place is most suitable for cultivation owing to the rich alluvial soil brought by the confluence of the three major rivers here namely the Damodar, the Ajay and the Hoogly. Over 50 percent of the economy is dependent on agriculture and rice is the major growing crop here. It is one of the finest quality rice which is also exported in the neighbouring countries. Along with rice, sugarcane, potatoes, mustard, jute, and sugarcane are also grown in this region. Dairy industry is also one of the chief occupations of the many locals.
The Damodar River Valley barrage built for irrigation and navigation purpose as part of the Damodar River Valley Project has given a typographical edge to the district of Bardhaman and tremendously helped in its industrial and agricultural development. In fact, it can be said that the industrial expansion in the area post independence is attributed to the hydro-electric power production established by the Damodar River Valley Project.
Several cottage industries have also sprung up in and around the region. Chief products manufactured by the locals for their livelihood are iron utensils and cutlery, clay utensils and pottery, gold and silver smithy, etc.
Author’s Bio – Leon Grant is a writer-editor at Bardhaman Live. He, along with her Bardhamanlive team, is intensively involved in measuring the scope of industries in Bardhaman district of West Bengal, India.
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