A new West Burdwan district was carved out by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday making it the 23rd district of the state.
"Every year, April 7 will be celebrated as the birthday of Paschim (West) Bardhaman district. The new district comprises Bardhaman Paschim, Asansol and Durgapur. People do not have to go to Kolkata for administrative work anymore," Banerjee said while addressing the inauguration programme of the new district.
Terming it to be a historic moment, Banerjee added that the new district will receive all help from the state government and there will be all round development.
"Carry on with the development work and you will get us beside you," she said to the administration of the newly-formed district.
West Burdwan district will have two subdivisions, namely Asansol Sadar and Durgapur and will have as many as 16 police stations. While the former will have nine, the latter will have seven police stations. East Burdwan district will have four sub divisions, namely Burdwan Sadar North, Burdwan Sadar South, Katwa and Kalna comprising 17 police stations.
The Burdwan division will have four districts, namely East Burdwan, West Burdwan, Hooghly and Birbhum. There will be two civic bodies in the new district — Asansol Municipal Corporation and Durgapur Municipal Corporation.
It may be recalled that after coming to power in 2011, Banerjee had proposed to bifurcate Burdwan. The decision was taken in 2016 but could not be implemented due to the Assembly elections. After coming to power in 2016, measures were taken to expedite the decision.
She described creation of the new West Burdwan district as a "Bengali New Year gift to the people."
Locals are very happy over the formation of the new district and they firmly believe that it would expedite the development work. Jiban Chatterjee, a bank employee, said: "It is a long awaited decision and it will help Burdwan to develop fast. The industrial areas like Asansol, Durgapur, Ranigunj, Waria and Andal will get new support and more industries will come up in the area soon."
The bifurcation of Burdwan district was long over due. The Left Front government did not bifurcate the district purely because of political reasons.
Asansol and Durgapur have come up as education hubs in the past few years with many private engineering colleges, schools and centres giving coaching for professional courses.
Hundreds of housing complexes have been constructed in Asansol and Durgapur which pumped in money and improved the financial health of the twin cities.
Road connectivity has undergone major changes since 2011 and in the next few years one would take less than three hours to reach Asansol from Kolkata. The massive traffic jam at Panagarh is a matter of the past due to the construction of a bypass.