In the sixth part of the ‘Know Your Smart City’ web series on the 98 cities that have been shortlisted to be equipped with modern facilities and innovative solutions over time, we look at the four cities in West Bengal, three in Bihar and one in Sikkim.
One of the fastest-growing cities of West Bengal, Durgapur is the third-biggest city of the state both in terms of area and population. Popularly known as the steel city of East India, Durgapur is also rising in the fields of medical and education. Durgapur, also one of the most industrialised cities of West Bengal, houses some major industrial units like the Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) and Alloy Steel Plant (ASP) of Steel Authority of India Ltd.
A major riverport and industrial belt approximately 125 km southwest of Kolkata, Haldia is being developed as a major trade port for bulk cargoes. The industrial city has several major factories, including South Asian Petrochemicals Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation, Exide, Shaw Wallace, Tata Chemicals, Haldia Petrochemicals and Hindustan Lever, besides various light industries.
Named after the second chief minister of West Bengal, Bidhan Chandra Roy, Bidhannagar was built on reclaimed swamp land. The city, now popularly known as Salt Lake, is the IT hub of Kolkata, with Sector-V housing the offices of major IT companies like TCS, Wipro and Accenture. The East-West metro network, when completed, will connect Salt Lake with Kolkata’s main railway station, Howrah. The Bidhannagar Commisionerate, which was the first one to recognise cab aggregator Uber as a technology company, is responsible for the law and order situation of the area.
New Town traces its origin to a project of the erstwhile Left Front government in West Bengal which, then eager to walk the neo-liberal way, wanted to develop a modern satellite township on a fringe of Kolkata. The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), the governing body of the township, was constituted under The New Town Kolkata Development Authority Act, 2007, and has become operational since January 2009. This nominated body is responsible for rendering various civic services and amenities and undertaking uniform developmental works within New Town, Kolkata.
Known as the ‘silk city’ of Bihar, Bhagalpur is situated in the southern part of the state. It is the second-largest city after Patna, and is one of the major educational, commercial and political centres of eastern India.
Named after Muzaffar Khan, an Amil (Revenue Officer) during the British rule, Muzaffarpur came into existence in the 18th century. The district is known as the land of litchi; it accounts for a third of the fruit’s total production in India. Sitamarhi, a place in this region, is considered sacred by the Hindus, who believe Sita (from the epic Ramayana) sprang to life out of an earthen pot while her father King Janak was tilling land at this place.
The seventh-largest town in Bihar, Biharsharif is situated in Nalanda district. Given its fertile land, because of many local rivers, agriculture is a major source of income for this town. Biharsharif is also rich in artefacts and relics of old Buddhist heritage.
The district headquarters of South Sikkim and the second-biggest town in Sikkim after capital Gangtok, Namchi sits at an elevation of 5,500 feet above the sea level. The existing municipal boundary of the city is limited to 7.15 sq km, covering the core commercial centre, administrative centre of the region and important places of tourist interest like Siddheswar Dham, commonly known as Chaardham, Statue of Guru Padmasambhawa at the Samdruptse hill towards the town’s north.