West Burdwan awaits bifurcation & a new identity
West Burdwan is all set to get a new identity as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will declare it as the 23rd district of the state on Friday.
The announcement will be made at a function in Asansol police lines on Friday.
With the bifurcation, the age-old agrarian Burdwan district will be known as East Burdwan while the industrial hub will become West Burdwan.
The new West Burdwan district will have two subdivisions — Asansol Sadar and Durgapur and will have as many as 16 police stations.
Shashank Sethi will be the District Magistrate and Collector of the new district. Asansol Sadar will have nine police stations namely — Chittaranjan, Salanpur, Kulti, Hirapur, Asansol South, Asansol North, Barabani, Jamuria and Ranigunj. Durgapur will have seven police stations under its jurisdiction. They are — Andal, Pandabeshwar, Faridpur-Durgapur, Durgapur, New Township, Coke Oven and Kanksa. East Burdwan district will have four sub-divisions namely Bardhaman Sadar North, Bardhaman Sadar South, Katwa and Kalna comprising 17 police stations.
Thus Burdwan division will have four districts namely — East Burdwan, West Burdwan, Hooghly and Birbhum.
It may be mentioned that already two districts have come up in Bengal, They are Alipurduar and Jhargram.
After coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wanted to divide Burdwan because of administrative reasons. Since Independence, three big districts in South Bengal were 24 Parganas, Midnapore and Burdwan.
The Left Front government had bifurcated 24 Parganas into South and North 24 Parganas and Midnapore into East and West Midnapore respectively. It may be mentioned that undivided Midnapore was the biggest district in undivided Bengal.
The Left Front government, however, did not divide Burdwan district after coming to power in 1977. The reason was purely political. Burdwan had produced CPI(M) leaders like Hare Krishna Konar, Benoy Chowdhury, Rabin Sen, Mansur Habibullah, Haradhan Roy and Mehboob Jahedi who played important roles in forming and shaping up the Left Front as a party.
The land reforms of the Left Front was the creation of the Burdwan lobby with Benoy Chowdhury becoming the Land and Land Reforms minister.
In the second Left Front government (1982-87), new CPI(M) leaders emerged from Burdwan and they formed the Burdwan lobby which played a pivotal role in shaping CPI(M)'s policies. They were Nirupam Sen, Madan Ghosh, Mrinal Banerjee, Jiban Roy, Saifuddin Chowdhury and Bansagopal Chowdhury.
The managers in Alimuddin Street including Anil Biswas, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Subhas Chakraborty and Biman Bose could not ignore the Burdwan lobby.
In 2006-11, Nirupam Sen was the state Industry minister and he was instrumental in handing over Singur's farm lands to Tata Motors to set up its automobile factory.
Over the years, Burdwan received reverses with many factories including Sen Raleigh closing down due to militant trade union movements.
Asansol and Durgapur lost their importance as centres of industry. Senior state government officials felt that with the creation of the new district, there would be total development of the industrial areas like Asansol, Durgapur, Ranigunj and Andal.