(Last Updated on : 05-10-2019)
Bardhaman is one of the district of West Bengal that is privileged in both agriculture & industry. Hence both supplement the economy of the district. On a whole about 58% of the population draw their living from agriculture and remaining 42% of the district's economy is supported by the non-agricultural sector.
The district locates between the Ajay & Bhagirathi Hooghly Rivers; hence the tract is made up of the alluvial soil carried by those rivers, which is highly favorable for cultivation. The optimal rainfall here is supplemented by the effective network of irrigation facilities (Government canals, tank, wells etc), which improved the agriculture of the district to a large extent. The agricultural products, produce in abundance at the same time, serving the economy by exporting, meet the everyday need of the district itself.
"The granary of West Bengal", Bardhaman mainly accounts for the production & trade in rice. Rice is exported to the different districts within the state & even in the neighboring countries. Nearly all the varieties are produced in this region, which can be primarily classified into 3 types depending on the seasons they are cultivated - Aus or autumn, Aman or winter and boro or the summer rice. Though paddy covers the maximum of the gross cropped area, some cash crops like jute, potato, sugarcane and oilseeds are cultivated in the subsidiary areas.
Having an advantageous topographical feature, the region was developed as an agriculturally prosperous land from the primeval times. The implementation of the Damodar Valley Project in 1953 induced a scientific dimension to the standard of cultivation of the district.
The optimal rainfall with tropical humidity of Bardhaman is supportive for the cultivation of the horticulture crops, which covers a large number of fruits, flowers& vegetables. As these are perishable in nature, they required proper maintenance. The NCDC (National Co-operative Government Corporation) is trying to promote the standard of the horticulture by developing the post harvest infrastructure like cold storage, food processing, packaging& marketing which contribute a significant part to the district's economy.
Predominantly an agricultural district, Bardhaman is no less famous for its industries. The industries here is supported by the considerable storage of minerals in the extensive area of the district & also by those imported from the neighboring districts and states like Bihar, Orissa, Assam etc. The vast chunk of industries in Bardhaman, comprise the largest belt of industry in West Bengal.
Embracing the Asansol & Durgapur subdivision, the wide belt of industry grows up. In spite of being a rural set up primarily, the industrial region of Bardhaman signifies an urbanized economy. The availability of infrastructure & favorable climate, led the economic planners to set up industries in Durgapur & Asansol including the adjoining areas. The traditional industrial base like coal, iron ore have undergone a rapid diversification and new industrial ventures, which include mainly heavy engineering, coal-based chemicals & coal-based thermal power plants are now growing up with equal importance of the customary iron and steel industries of the region. The Damodar Valley Project at the same time supplementing the irrigation purpose, play a dominant role in the sustained program of hydroelectric power generation which induces the effective industrialization & modernization of the district.
The industrial products have great demand all over the districts & sufficient amount of profits is drawn from the export of these products even in abroad. The industrial area of Bardhaman was a principal site of investment of the foreign aid since the post independence period, which also helps, for the development of urbanized industry based economy.
Between 1955 to 1965, a series of large & small-scale industry grew up in Durgapur pivoting the Steel Plants in Durgapur.
(i) Durgapur steel plant: - Utilizing the British Technology, the plant first started the construction works in furnace and produces about 1 million tonne of steel. It was the primitive base of Iron & Steel industry in Bengal, which also accounts for large quantity of export.
(ii) Durgapur Alloy Steel Plant:-In 1965, Alloy Steel Plant utilizing the Japanese investment of 70 crores and Canadian know-how, Alloy Steel Plant came to be existed, which produced the steel of its own kind and exports the largest amount of alloy steel of the country till date.
The bi products of steel production naptha is an important base for fertilizer production which helps for the growth of Durgapur Fertilizer Project, which is the first plant of its own kind, maintained by FCI (Fertilizer Corporation of India) in West Bengal and sixth in the export of its products in the country.
Durgapur Project Limited is an integrated whole of several plants - (i) Coke Oven with its bi-products and tar distillation plants (ii) a thermal power plants, which not only serve the domestic needs but also support the country's economy to a large extent.
Moreover a gas line between Durgapur & Calcutta and a new industrial complex are under construction to offer modern facilities to the currently existing industries, thereby helping the country's economy.
The chief feature of the industrial belt of Bardhaman is that the byproduct of one is enough for the breeding of some other plants. Hence the industries not only export their items but also meet the domestic requirement
The Asansol industrial belt has grown up with IISCO (Indian Iron & Steel Industry) in Kulti-Burnpur (established in1871) at its core. It was the oldest unit of manufacturing the pig iron & iron casting in India. It is through this industry, India started its export operation in the abroad in the pre- independence period.
Chittaranjan Locomotive, the government undertaking is responsible for supplying locomotive parts in all over the country. Various other industries have assisted the development of Chittaranjan Locomotive.
The enormous reserve of minerals mainly coal in the extensive area of Raniganj forms the wide belt of ECL (Eastern Coalfields), which supplies the raw materials for the domestic industries and also to the different states all over the country.
Several cottage Industries have also grown up in the interior areas, which supports the rural community. Making of iron utensils & cutlery, dairy, gold & silver smithy, making of clay utensils and pottery etc are the principal occupation of rustics & also support their daily requirements.
Not only by exporting, the industries here supply raw materials to the domestic plants, for that they do not require importing those; hence a bulk of money is saved which is otherwise required for the import cost.