is located in the district of Burdwan, in the state West Bengal, India, 168 km to the north of Calcutta. It is a well-planned industrial city on the banks of the river Damodar, with a population of about 250,000.
It was founded by in the late fifties, by the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.
A close confidant and personal physician of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, B.C.Roy was the visionary who changed the face of post independence West Bengal. After the partition and the refuge influx of 1947, West Bengal was in a economically bad shape. Dr. Roy took to improve the condition, by founding a series of industrial satellite towns. The most prominent among them are Durgapur(steel and ancillary industries), Haldia (port and petrochemicals), Dankuni (oil refineries), Haringhata (dairy), Burnpur (steel), Chittaranjan (locomotive works), Kharagpur (IIT).
Industries in Durgapur
Durgapur has a whole gamut of manufacturing industries. Among them, Durgapur Steel Plant
(DSP) and Alloy Steel Plant (ASP) are the 2 biggest and the ones around which the city and the other industries came up. Both operate under the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). DSP, with about 30,000 employees, is an integrated steel plant with 4 blast furnaces, producing about 1 million tonnes annually of pig iron and ingots. It is also the only steel plant in India manufacturing railway wheels.
ASP (where my dad worked), with about 7000 employees, is an alloy and special steels plant. It was the only one of its kind in the country until the mid-80's when another one came up in Salem, Kerala. Its main raw material is ferrous scrap, mostly from junked cars from the
United States. Its rated capacity is about 0.3 million tonnes per annum. It produces only on order, moslty for the defence, space and other special needs industries. DSP and ASP share a common township for its employees (about 10kmx10km). It has a whole lot of schools run by the company, an 800 bed hospital for the employees and their families and other sports and recreational facilities.
Places of interest in and around Durgapur
Being an industrial city, Durgapur as such, has very little to offer to the casual tourist.
Durgapur Barrage :
The main tourist attraction is the
Durgapur Barrage over the Damodar. It is most beautiful during the monsoons, when the river is swollen. The gardens around it are a good place to picnic.
The Durgapur Barrage over the river Damodar
provides the water necessary for the many industries and also for
drinking. Its surrounding area is very fertile and is one of the biggest
producers of rice in the country.
The Kumarmangalam Park :
in the Steel township with its artificial lakes and small hills is another attraction for picnickers and joggers. There is very little else you can see in Durgapur.
About 100 km to the north of Durgapur is Shantiniketan (district Bolpur), the university town founded by the Nobel Laureate (1913) Rabindranath Tagore (1860-1940). It is home to the famous Vishwabharati University, renowned for its fine arts departments. It also houses the great poet's works, where he spent the last 2 decades of his life. Among other places nearby, good for spending a day, are Mayapur (headquaters of ISKCON), Maithon, Tilaiya.
Nearest national and international airport Calcutta is 176 kms away.
By Rail : Durgapur is the railway station on the Eastern Railway.
By Road : Durgapur is connected by good motorable roads with Calcutta 176 kms, Patna 414 kms, Asansol 50 kms, Shantiniketan 62 kms, Vishnupur 72 kms.
Local Transport: Taxis, City Bus services, Cycle Rickshaws are available.