Brief Notes on Asansol Sub-Division :

i) Brief History and Location of Asansol:

Asansol subdivision is a subdivision of the Bardhaman district in the state of West Bengal, India. It consists of Asansol Municipal Corporation and four Community Development Blocs: Barabani, Jamuria, Raniganj and Salanpur. The four blocks contain 35 gram panchayats and 18 census towns. The subdivision has its headquarters at Asansol. While Dhanbad district of Jharkhand lies on the western side, Durgapur sub division of Barddhaman district lies on the eastern side. To the south, across the Damodar river is the Purulia and Bankura districts. To the north are Dumka and Birbhum districts.

A tryst with Asansol history divulge that the name Asansol is from two names – Asan the tree and sol which means a mineral enhanced land. The Asan tree is found here in abundance on the banks of the River Damodar. In addition, it is also a land packed with minerals.

Asansol has a history of strong Jain religious movement around 2500 years back and Lord Mahabira was believed to have stayed here. In the later years, Asansol was thought to have become a part of the vast Vishnupur Kingdom. This kingdom was governed by the great Malla dynasty, for about 1000 years until the advent of the British rule in India. During the reign of the Sultanate Asansol and more precisely Barddhaman was an important area of activity.


ii) Administrative Set up of Asansol Sub-Division:

The City of Asansol is a Municipal Corporation which was formed in the year 1994.Prior to that Asansol had been a Municipality since 1896. In 2015 three other Municipalities, namely Raniganj, Jamuria and Kulti were included within the jurisdiction of Asansol Municipal Corporation and thereby forming the greater Corporation consisting of 106 wards, covering four Assembly Constituencies. The Police commissionerate of Asansol & Durgapur was formed in 2011. The Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority started functioning from 1980 and the whole geographical area of Asansol Sub-Division is within its jurisdiction.


iii) Demography:

During the reign of the British East India Company, the East India Railway began to establish the railway network in the Coal producing areas. The Rail and Coal association first brought the Europeans to Asansol and later on the Indians from all over the country. With the establishment of ISSCO, HCL and other prominent industrial units, Asansol continued with its’ rich cosmopolitan character. Today cross sections of people from all over India inhabit Asansol and contribute to its Cosmopolitan Culture.


iv) Terrain

Asansol is having the majority of Non-Agrarian Population and this indicates the difficulties in agriculture here. As Asansol is part of the Chhotanagpur Plateau the land is uneven. There are major areas which are subsidence prone. Asansol is located between the Damodar and Ajay rivers. Another river, Barakar, joins the Damodar near Dishergarh. A small rivulet, Nunia, flows past Asansol.


v) Socio-Economic-Cultural Condition:

Asansol is a multi-lingual Sub-Division where Bengali, Hindi and Urdu are the predominant languages even though Tamil, Telegu and Oriya speaking people can also be found. Besides, Asansol is a multi-religious Sub-division also, as Jains and Christians are residing here along with the predominantly Hindu and Muslim population.

The Economic activity flourished in the British India with the advent of railways and the development of modern coal mines. Gradually with the establishment of ISSCO, HCL, Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Disergarh Power Plant, Mithan Hydel Power Plant Asansol thrived as an Industrial hub. Even today these heavy Industries are running alongside the recently developed Industries.

Indian Railways is a big contributor to the economy of Asansol. East India Railways was the first employer in the city and they are credited with developing the city in late 19th century. Asansol is one of the four divisions of Eastern Railway Zone and among the major revenue generating divisions in Indian Railways.

Asansol has a rich heritage of European architecture. The Durand Institute, named after Sir Mortimer Durand, the planner of the famous Durand line between Afghanistan, Tibet and India, is one such example. The old church buildings bear the same imprint of European style. The legacy of English Education is continuing from the days of the British Raj and the famous old English Medium Schools are carrying on this legacy today along with the recently established schools.

The major religious festivals of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Jains are celebrated by the respective communities. Hindu worshipers throng to Kalyaneswari Temple, Ghagarburi Temple and Chandrachur Temple. Besides four temples at Begunia near Barakar form a temple complex which are collectively recognised as Monuments of National Importance and are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.


vi) Infrastructure Availability:

From its earliest days, Asansol has been the hub of railway transport in the region. Currently a part of the Eastern Railway Zone, the Asansol Railway Division is connected with Northern and Southern part of India through a vibrant and congested railway network.

The nearest domestic Airport, ie. Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport is around 25 KMs from the heart of the city. NH2 runs across Asansol Sub-Division and the city is well connected with interior parts of the Sub-Division as well as with the country through a vast Road Transport Network involving Private and Public participation.


vii) Resource Availability:

Asansol has abundance of coal of very good quality and the first incidence of commercial coal excavation dates back to the period of East India Company. Besides, the development of Iron and steel industries, power plants and allied industries cater to the need of the country.


viii) Weather Conditions:

As Asansol is part of the Chhotanagpur Plateau, the weather condition is similar to that of east-central India. The average rainfall is lower than that of Gangetic West Bengal.


ix) Generally inaccessible or difficult to reach places:

Generally Asansol city is well connected with the hinterland through a road network. Primarily bus, auto and other motor vehicles are the main means of transport. No area within the Sub-Division is inaccessible or difficult to reach all throughout the year.


B. Key Statistics of Asansol Sub-Division
POPULATION – 2011 1543782
PROJECTED POPULATION – (Current Year) 1647653
POPULATION DENSITY 2001
LITERACY RATE TOTAL 68.49
LITERACY RATE MALE 74.82
LITERACY RATE FEMALE 61.64
GROWTH RATE – TOTAL 3.8% ,Decadal
GROWTH RATE - URBAN 15.58%, Decadal
GROWTH RATE - RURAL 2.05% (Negative)
NO. OF MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS 1
NO. OF MUNICIPALITIES 0
NO. OF BLOCKS 4
NO. OF GRAM PANCHAYATS 35
NO. OF REVENUE VILLAGES 255
TOTAL ELECTORS IN the Constituency 11,19,964
MALE ELECTORS 5,93,721
FEMALE ELECTORS 5,26,222
SEX RATIO – 2011 926
NO. OF PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES (PC) 1
NO. OF POLLING STATIONS (PS) 1310
NO. OF POLLING STATION LOCATIONS 706
NO. OF ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIES (AC) 5