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Metropolitan City
Asansol cityscape
Asansol cityscape
Nickname(s): Land of Black Diamond
Asansol is located in West Bengal
Coordinates: 23°41′N 86°59′E / 23.68°N 86.99°E / 23.68; 86.99Coordinates: 23°41′N 86°59′E / 23.68°N 86.99°E / 23.68; 86.99
Country India
State West Bengal
District Barddhaman
Named for Eastern Coalfields, Indian Railways, Hindustan Cables,Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, IISCO Steel Plant, Kazi Nazrul University
 • Type Civic Administration
 • Body Asansol Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Tapas Banerjee — AITC (Asansol Municipal Corporation)
 • Metropolitan City 127.3 km2 (49.2 sq mi)
Elevation 97 m (318 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Metropolitan City 1,243,008
 • Density 4,434/km2 (11,480/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,243,008
 • Official Bengali, Hindi, English, Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 713 3xx (713301- Asansol Railway Station and surrounding areas, 713303-Murgasol,Ushagram,Mohishila 3 No. Colony and surrounding areas,713304- Court Road, Hill View Park, HIndustan Park, LIC West End, Evelyn Lodge Township, Doordarshan Kendra Asansol, 713305- Kanyapur Satellite Township, RK Mission Asansol, AIR Asansol, Shristinagar, 713325- IISCO Steel Plant, Chitra, Newtown, Riverside Township, Burnpur Township, Puranhat,713339-Kalipahari,Damra)
Telephone code 0341
Vehicle registration WB 37 / WB 38 / WB 44
Sex ratio 1.081 /
Literacy 84.821%
Lok Sabha constituency Asansol (MP — Bangsha Gopal Chaudhuri — CPI(M))
Vidhan Sabha constituency

Asansol Uttar (MLA — Malay Ghatak — AITC),

Asansol Dakshin (MLA — Tapas Banerjee — AITC)

Asansol /ɑːsɑːŋsəʊl/ (Bengali:আসানসোল) is the second largest city and urban agglomeration in West Bengal after Kolkata2 and the 39th largest urban agglomeration in India.3 Asansol is located in the Burdwan District of India. According to a 2010 report released by the International Institute for Environment and Development, a UK-based policy research non-governmental body, Asansol is ranked 11th among Indian cities. and 42nd in the world. in its list of 100 fastest-growing cities.4 As per the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission, Asansol has been listed as a Y-category city for calculation of HRA (House Rent Allowance) for public servants. It happens to be the only non-Z category city in West Bengal apart from Kolkata which belongs to the X category.56


Asansol is located in the Burdwan District of the Indian state of West Bengal. It forms the lower Chota Nagpur plateau, which occupies most of Jharkhand. It is located between the Damodar and Ajay rivers. Another river, Barakar, joins the Damodar near Dishergarh. A small rivulet, Nunia, flows past Asansol. While Dhanbad district lies on the western side, Durgapur sub division of Bardhman district lies on the eastern side. To the south, across the Damodar river are the Purulia and Bankura districts. To the north are Dumka and Birbhum districts. Dhanbad district across the Barakar river in Jharkhand is also a major mining area and has close links with Asansol. Both lie in the Damodar valley.


Coal and Railways

In 1774, Suetonius Heatly and John Sumner of the British East India Company realised that local people were using coal in the region of which Asansol is a part.7 Their early explorations and mining operations were carried out in a haphazard manner and demand was limited.8 Regular mining operations started in 1820, led by an agency house, Alexander and Co. In 1835, Prince Dwarkanath Tagore bought over the collieries and Carr and Tagore Co. led the field.

During the middle of nineteenth century the coal was being transported by boat from Narayan kuri Ghat of Damodar river, Searsole (Now Raniganj) to Calcutta by M/S Carr Tagore & Company, owned by Dwarakanath Tagore. However, this supply was not uniform and enough because the level of water varied in the river Damodar with the varying seasons. To capture this lucrative business of coal transportation that East Indian Railway laid the lines up to Raniganj in 1855. It succeeded in its motive and captured the entire coal transportation business. This line was extended up to Asansol in July 1863 via Searsole (now Raniganj) and Kalipahari.

The coal business started to flourish and consequently the train movements increased. The East Indian Railway (E.I.R.) needed large and expansive land area to build an infrastructure to run the Railways smoothly. Obviously, Raniganj was their choice for it was a much more developed business hub in those days because of the coal mines . They requested the Malias, the Raj family of Searsole (Raniganj) to provide them with sufficient land. But the Raj family did not accept the proposal since it was apprehended that black smoke and coal dust from steam locomotives would cause a pollution leading to health hazards.

However, in 1863–64, this was seen as an opportunity by the Raj family of Panchakut (Cossipore, Adra) who sold a vast area of jungle land then known as "Shergarh" to the EIR. Asansol was a part of Shergarh. This happened in 1863–64, ushering the foundation of Asansol's march towards a modem industrial township.

In early days only two officers DVS i.e. Divisional Vehicular Supdt. (later DS and now DRM) and Sr. Supdt. of Works later DEN and now Sr. DEN lived in bungalows situated on the road leading from the present station to the G.T. Road near the Nazrul Sarani. They used to run their offices from their bungalows. A full fledged DVS(DRM) Office was set up in a two storied building in 1880 on the west side of the present station road. The building at present serves the purpose of staff quarters. The Division got its new Divisional building in the year 1928 to which an annex was added in 1958. The Divl. Vehicular Supdt. was upgraded to Divisional Supdt. in 1950s and a separate DVS office was created under Asansol Division in Dhanbad in 1959. Soon this was upgraded to Divisional Supdt. thus creating Dhanbad Division after carving out a sizeable portion from Asansol division.9

For the entire 19th century and a major part of the 20th century, Ranigunj coalfields in the Asansol region was the major producer of coal in the country.


Today, Asansol is a corporation administered by the Asansol Municipal Corporation. In 1850, a union committee was formed to look after the civic needs of Asansol. The municipality was approved in 1885 but started functioning effectively in 1896. It has been upgraded to the status of a corporation in 1994.10 Since 2011 it has had its own Police Commissionerate.11



The main mode of transport inside the city is Public Bus Service. Other than that one can reserve autorickshaws as well as Cabs. The Grand Trunk Road (NH 2) runs across the subdivision. The highway has been broadened as part of the Golden Quadrilateral project and now allows two lane traffic each way. A highway bypass avoids the areas of Asansol, Neamatpur, Kulti and Barakar. Asansol is connected to Kolkata by road with daily Volvo buses as well as non-ac government buses run by the South Bengal State Transport Corporation which ply at half-an-hour interval duration and this 224 km distance takes 4 hours approximately. The South Bengal State Transport Corporation also plies buses in various other routes such as Malda, Siliguri, Midnapur, Bankura, Purulia, Burdwan, Kalna, Habra, Barackpore, Digha, Berhampore etc. Also there are many Private Operators which ply express and Super Fast as well as Deluxe Buses to various other towns of the State as well as Outside the State to places such as Dhanbad, Bokaro Steel City, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Giridih, Hazaribag etc. Government Bus Service operators also includes the North Bengal State Transport Corporation which plies buses to towns of North Bengal such as Malda, Raiganj, Siliguri, Coochbihar etc.

NH-60 connects Asansol with Odisha.


Adra-Asansol MEMU

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 high density of traffic that originates and passes through the region. The railway track from Kolkata to Delhi passes through the subdivision and bifurcates into the main line and the grand chord line, at Sitarampur railway junction, a little to the west of Asansol. Another railway track links Asansol with Adra and then to Jamshedpur via Purulia and Kharagpur via Bankura. A branch line connects Andal with Sainthia on the Sahibgunj loop. Almost all the trains linking Kolkata with north India connect Asansol with Kolkata as well as with north India. As a result, Asansol enjoys superb connectivity with cities like Jammu, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Dehradun, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore on the one hand and commands a fairly good traffic movement towards the southern cities like Visakhapatnam, Chennai.12 Asansol also serves as the headquarters of the eponymous division and spans a distance of 493 kilometres spread across West Bengal and Jharkhand. It includes important stations such as Andal, Raniganj and Durgapur.13


A private aerodrome belonging to SAIL, ISP is located at Burnpur. Another airport is coming up at Andal, about 25 km from the city.14 The airport has been named Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport after the rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam from a village near Asansol. However, the airport is yet to start flight services.


The economy of Asansol is primarily dependent on its steel, coal and railways .


IISCO Panoramic View, Asansol
Modernisation of ISP

IISCO(Indian Iron and Steel Company Ltd.) was the first steel making unit established in India at present day Kulti. The Burnpur unit came up later. The steel plant during the 60s and 70s made a name throughout the country and the shares of the company were quoted at London Stock Exchange. However a decade later the company fell into losses until it was revived in 2006 with the merger with SAIL. Modernization at IISCO Steel Plant (named after acquisition by Steel Authority of India Limited) as seen the city develop at a very rapid pace. The steel plant's capacity will be raised from 0.4 MT of saleable steel to 2.5 MT of saleable steel with the biggest blast furnace of the country coming up of 2.5 MT.


Eastern Coalfields which has its headquarters in Sanctoria near Dishergarh, has a big presence in the area due to the huge deposits of high quality Coal. However, most of the coalfields and surrounding residential colonies are located away from the main city. Nearby areas like Ranigunj, Chinakuri and Jamuria are of particular importance for coal blocks. As on 1.4.2012, the total coal reserve in ECL command area up to 600 metre depth is 49.17 Billion tone out of which 30.61 billion tone is in the State of West Bengal and 18.56 Billion tone is in the State of Jharkhand. Total proved reserve in the state of West Bengal is 12.42 billion tonnes.


Railways also is a big contributor to the economy of Asansol. 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 also has the one of the largest locomotive manufacturing units in the world, Chittaranjan Locomotive Works at Chittaranjan. Production at CLW started on 26 January 1950, the same day India became a republic. Currently it produces the WAP4, WAP 5, WAP 7, WAG 7 and WAG 9 locomotives.

Other Business Ventures

Other industries include Dishergarh Power Supply, Damodar Valley Corporation, Burn Standard Co. which is now a subsidiary of Eastern Railways, Hindustan Cables Limited and cement factories like Burnpur Cement.1516 There is also presence of a big wholesale market. Business over here is a source of income for a majority of people. Another source of income is the high quality sands taken from the Damodar river ghats. More industries are on the way as Videocon has already been provided land to develop a steel and power plant in Jamuria.17


  • IISCO Hospital is a multi speciality Hospital catering to the employees of IISCO and their families.
  • HLG Memorial Hospital Pvt. Ltd. is a speciality Hospital established in the year 2006.18

Apart from these, there are also smaller health-centres and dispensaries including ESI, Kalla SD Hospital and smaller nursing homes like PR Mukherjee, Daffodil Nursing Home.



St Vincent's High & Technical School, Asansol

Some schools are St. Vincent's High and Technical School, St. Patrick's Higher Secondary School, Loreto Convent, Asansol Domohani Kelejora High SchoolBelrui.N.G.institution. Asansol Ramakrishna mission high school is one of the top Bengali medium school in West Bengal. St. Josephs High School and St, Marry Goretti High School,JOHARMULL JALAN INSTITUTION ,AGABEG MUNICIPAL HIGH,ARUNODAY HIGH SCHOOL, DAYANAND ANGLO-VEDIC HIGH,IDGAH HIGH SCHOOL19

Colleges and Universities

Asansol Engineering college, Asansol

There are three general degree colleges – Banwarilal Bhalotia College, Asansol, Bidhan Chandra College, Asansol and Asansol Girls College. Asansol Engineering College is among the top engineering colleges in West Bengal.20

Kazi Nazrul University is a relatively new institution, named after the rebel poet who was born at Churulia in the suburbs of modern day Asansol.21

Illuminated BNR Bus stand,Asansol

There are several public libraries, including the District Library.22


Asansol has hot and dry summers and cold chilly winters. In summers temperatures soar above 40 C with dry hot air blowing known as 'loo' while in winter temperatures go below 10 C. Monsoon lasts from August to September. The Köppen Climate Classification sub-type for this climate is "Aw" (Tropical Savanna Climate).23

Climate data for Asansol, India
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26
Average low °C (°F) 12
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
Source: Weatherbase24

Notable people

Scientist Meenakshi Banerjee grew up and in Aransol.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Cities having population 1 lakh and above". Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Census India". Census. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Million plus UA Cities – India". Census. Census of India. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "World's fastest growing urban areas (1)". City Mayors. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tier I and Tier II Cities of India, Classification of Indian Cities". 
  6. ^ "Classification of Indian cities – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". 
  7. ^ Deb, Mihir; Tiwari, Garima; Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala (2004). "Artisanal and small-scale mining in India: Selected studies and an overview of the issues". International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment 10 (10). 
  8. ^ Gee, E. R. (10 August 1940). "History of Coal-Mining in India". Indian National Science Academy 6 (3): 313. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Asansol Division". 
  10. ^ "Asansol Municipal Corporation". Asansol Municipal Corporation. 
  11. ^ "Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate". 
  12. ^ [1]dead link
  13. ^,1,702,707/
  14. ^ Abhishek Law (19 September 2013). "Durgapur airport named after poet Nazrul Islam". Business Line. 
  15. ^ "Retail Destination – Asansol: Rising in the East | Jones Lang LaSalle India". 16 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Asansol on the net – A complete information on Asansol city". 
  17. ^ "Videocon upbeat on Bengal project". The Telegraph. Kolkota. 29 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "HLG Hospital". 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "West Bengal's best engineering colleges 2012". 18 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Welcome to Kazi Nazrul University". 16 August 2012. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Climate Summary for Asansol". 
  24. ^ . Weatherbase. 2013  Missing or empty |title= (help) Retrieved 31 July 2013.

Further reading

  • History of The Indian Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. by Dr. N.R.Srinivasan
  • Bardhaman Jelar Itihas O Lok Sanskriti (History and Folk-lore of Bardhaman District) in Bengali by Akkari Chattopadhyay

External links

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