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Government Of Assam Karimganj District

District Profile

Brief Introduction

Welcome to the official website of Karimganj district,Assam, located in the remote north-eastern corner of India. Look around for a feel of the land that is home to more than a million people with varied culture and tradition, a land whose history and geography have seen the twists and turns of time and fate for many centuries to make a fascinating account. Read on to know all about its present status - facts and figures, efforts for developments, its resources and handicaps, matters of general interests and so on


 

History

The early history of present district of Karimganj, Assam, is hazy and obscure. With available source materials and evidences, it is difficult to construct a chronologically comprehensive account of early history of the region. Only a broad outline, with major gaps, can be attempted. From the Nidhanpur copper inscriptions issued by king Bhaskarbarman, it is learnt that the region has been within the Kamrupa kingdom for about a hundred years since A.D. sixth century. The aryanisation of the region under the leadership of the pioneer immigrant brahmins with plough-based agriculture as economic basis had its beginning during this period. From the Kalapur copper plates issued by Samata Marundanatha, it is learnt that in the 7th century A.D., this region, along with foothills of north Cachar hills had passed on to the Samatata kingdom of the eastern bengal. Of course, there is no direct evidence to prove it. In the 10th century A.D., king Srichandra of the renowned chandra dynasty of eastern bengal incorporated the entire region within his vanga kingdom. During this period, the Chandrapura matha or monastery, situated at panchakhanda (8 miles from Karimganj town, now in Bangladesh), became a very reputed centre of learning. According to the renowned historian D.C. Sarkar, the Chandrapura matha was the greatest centre of hindu-learning in the entire eastern India of the early period. From two bhatera inscriptions of govindakeshava deva and ishana deva, it is learnt that there was an independent Srihatta rajya in the 12th century within which the entire Karimganj district along with a major portion of the Cachar plains were incorporated. Middle age when Hazarat Shah Jalal, a warrior muslim saint from Yemen, conquered Sylhet in 1328 a.d., Srihatta, along with a major portion of Karimganj district passed on to the bengal sultanate. A portion of Karimganj district comprising the present thana area of patherkandi was under the control of the Tripura king at that period. However, during the reign of Hussain shah (1483-1519), this region - at that time known as pratapgarh - also came under the sultanate. We have two inscriptions - one of Hussain shah, and another of his son Mahmud shah, found respectively at kaliganj and suprakandi, to show that bengal sultanate had complete sway over this entire region. The region, along with other parts of Sylhet, was incorporated within the Mughal empire in 1576 during the reign of akbar. According to ain-i-akbari, most of the areas of the district were placed under the pratapgarh revenue mahal of the silhat sarkar of the Mughals. The district continued to be part of the silhat sarkar and bangla suba of the Mughals. British era and freedom movement in 1765, the diwani of the bangla suba was taken over by the british east India company and the district of Sylhet, of which Karimganj was a part, passed on to the british. However, upto 1786, the British could not establish their hegemony over the entire region. A local zamindar, Radharam, brought under his administrative control, a vast region of southern Karimganj, and local people started calling him nawab Radharam. His blatant defiance of british authority brought the matters to a head, but Radharam could survive two successive expeditions of the british contingents. Ultimately, a reinforced contingent succeeded in capturing him after defeating his native force. While he was being carried to Sylhet by the company soldiers, radharam reportedly committed suicide. It is only with his fall in 1786 that the british could establish their complete authority in the region around Karimganj. In november 1857, three companies of the 34th native infantry stationed at chittagong mutinied and they subsequently emerged in the south-east of the Sylhet district. At latu village of present Karimganj district, these rebel soldiers encountered a contingent of the Sylhet light infantry under the command of major Byng. The sepoys were defeated, but major Byng was killed. At Malegar hillock of Latu village, the graves of the fallen rebels are still venerated by the local people. The sub-division of Karimganj under the Sylhet district was created in 1878 with Karimganj town as its headquarters. The sub-division played an important role in the freedom movement. The famous Chargola exodus, one of the earliest organised labour movements of the country, had its origin in the Chargola valley tea-belt of Karimganj sub-division. Partition & post-partition period at the time of partition of the country, in 1947, the district of Sylhet was transferred to east Pakistan barring three-and-half thana areas (Ratabari, Patherkandi, Badarpur and half of Karimganj thana) of the Karimganj sub-division. This truncated Karimganj sub-division was incorporated in the Cachar district of Assam as a full-fledged sub-division. This sub-division was upgraded to a district on the 1st of July, 1983, vide govt. Notification no. Gag15/83/1 dated June 14, 1983.


 

Communication & Transportation

Karimganj district is located at the southern fringe of the state of Assam, in the north-east India. Although various modes of communication to this district is available, due to the remoteness from the mainland of India, the existing transportation and communication facility is a major bottleneck in the development process of the district. Road communication the major road link to the district is national highway 44 which starts from Shillong in Meghalaya and after passing through Karimganj, goes upto Agartala in Tripura state. It also provides a major intra-district communication backbone as it covers a stretch of more than 83 kms in this district. After entering through Karimganj-Hailakandi border at badarpurghat, it connects important places like badarpur, Karimganj town, nilambazar, patherkandi, lowairpoa etc, before entering Tripura at churaibari. Road link to the nearest major town silchar is provided by n.h. 53. Besides, a new national highway 151 has been sanctioned for connecting Karimganj town with sutarkandi on the Bangladesh. This is largely meant to facilitate border trade with Bangladesh by road. For details on road distances of Karimganj town from various places the total road length in Karimganj district as on 31st march, 1998 was 1455.23 kms. Out of which 249.45 kms. Is metalled 1205.78 kms. Is kuchcha. These roads are built and maintained by various organisations like bro, pwd, nec, forest, drda, local bodies and so on. For both goods and passenger transportation, road is the most widely used mode. Karimganj is well connected by direct night service buses from guwahati, shillong, aizwal etc. Operated by many operators, mostly private. Agartala is also connected through direct day service buses. Silchar, badarpur, patherkandi, r.k. Nagar and other places are connected by various transports like bus, minibus, utility vans etc. Rail communication in earlier times, rail communication used to be the most preferred mode of communication both for passenger and cargo. In the pre-independance era, Karimganj railway station was a major hub of rail communication as the whole of Assam and present day north-east was connected by a major rail link passing through present day Bangladesh. After independance of India, which was accompanied by partition of the land, the main rail link was sealed and Karimganj railway junction lost much of its importance. Even now, a train service is operated through this truncated rail-link from Karimganj junction to the border station of mahishasan which is just at a distance of 12 kms. Badarpur, in Karimganj district is still now the major railway junction and main hub in the entire barak valley and southern Assam. Direct train services are available to guwahati, lumding, silchar, dharmanagar-kumarghat (in Tripura), bhairabi (in Mizoram). Silchar-badarpur-Karimganj-dharmanagar train service is also an important railway service, although with the rising popularityof the road transport system, this has lost much of its importance in the last few years. Rail links also exist between Karimganj and dullavcherra through baraigram junction. The hill section of the n.f. Railway, connecting lumding and badarpur is a major arterial rail link of barak valley with the rest of the country. This single-track meter-gauge line passing through tortuous hill tracks in north Cachar hills plays a role of immense importance in the economy of Karimganj district, and for that matter, for entire barak valley, Tripura, Mizoram and part of Manipur. Air communication Karimganj district does not have its own airport. However, the nearest airport at kumbhirgram (near silchar - in Cachar district) at a distance of 83 kms. From Karimganj town (48 kms. From badarpurghat) serves as the major communication link point for the people of Karimganj. Indian airlines (alliance air) operates flight services in the silchar-calcutta (6 days per week) and silchar-imphal (3 days per week) routes from this airport. River communication river transportation link exists between Karimganj and calcutta through Bangladesh. Central inland water transport corporation maintains jetty and warehouse at Karimganj town by the side of kushiara river for handling and storage of cargo carried by steamers by this route. Although this provides a very cheap mode of cargo transportation, the service has largely been an irregular one.


 

Geogrpahy

 

Geography of Karimganj district general Karimganj district is located in the southern tip of Assam - a state in the north-eastern corner of India. Together with two other neighbouring districts - Cachar and Hailakandi - it constitutes the barak valley zone in southern Assam. Total area of the district is 1809 sq.kms. Which comprises varied geographical features like agricultural plains, shallow wetlands, hilly terrains and forests. As in 1997-98, total forest cover in the district is more than 54 thousand hectares. That is about 30% of total geographical area is covered by forest. The geographical location of Karimganj district is between longitudes 92°15' and 92°35' east and latitudes 24°15' and 25°55' north. The district is bounded on the north by Bangladesh and Cachar district; on the south by Mizoram and tripura states, on the west by Bangladesh and tripura and on the east by Hailakandi district. Located strategically, the district shares 92 kms. Of international border with the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. 41 kms of this is demarcated by the river kushiara while 51 kms is land border. On some stretches, there is no natural geographical demarcation for the border which cuts across open agricultural or grazing fields. However, on most parts, the international border with Bangladesh is marked by either the river kushiara, or the sub-mountain tracts of the adamail range. In a sense, Karimganj, along with the neighbouring district of Cachar demarcates the frontier between the plains of the padma-meghna basin and the hilly north-east India. Hilly terrains Karimganj district is actually shut in between two hill ranges, whereas there is a third hill that runs through the southern part of the district. The chhatachura range that starts from the south-east border, forms the whole length of border with Hailakandi district. The summit of the range is called the chhatachura peak and its height is 2087 feet above the sea-level. The hills gradually decline in height and in the middle section, which bears the name sarashpur, are only 1000 feet above the sea-level near the barak river. At the lowest level, where they are known as the badarpur hills, the average height is about 500 feet. The chhatachura range is about 50 miles from north to south and at some parts, 13 miles in breadth. The adamail or patharia range marks the western border of the district forming the international border with Bangladesh. Running from the south to the north, its length is about 28 miles and breadth about 7 to 8 miles. The highest point of the range is about 800 feet above sea-level. The third hilly range crossing through the district is the duhalia range, also called the pratapgarh range. It runs through the mid-south of the district demarcating the longai valley and the chargola valley. The length of the range in the district is about 28 miles with highest peak at 1500 feet above sea-level, besides these main ranges, the plains of the district are also dotted with hillocks and forests. The north and north-eastern portion of the district are mainly plains whereas the south and south-western parts are mainly covered with forest. Rivers and their courses kushiara, longai and shingla are the main rivers flowing through the district. The river barak enters the district through its north-eastern corner near badarpurghat and after traversing a length of seven miles upto a place called haritikar near bhanga, is divided into two branches - namely, the kushiara and the surma. From the point of bifurcation, the kushiara flows westwards to Bangladesh forming the northern boundary of the distict. The town of Karimganj is situated on the bank of this river. The old name of the kushiara near Karimganj town was bagali. In Bangladesh, the river is again divided near bahadurpur in moulavi bazar district, the northern branch assuming the name bibiyana and the southern branch, shakha barak. The bibiyana is later merged with the surma rver near markuli steamer station in habiganj district of Bangladesh, assuming the name kalni, and then bhera mohana, and ultimately this huge combined stream merges with the great river meghna of Bangladesh. The southern stream of kushiara resumes the original name barak or shakha barak and flows in a south-westerly direction through habiganj district and finally falls into the old bed of the brahmaputra near bhairab bazar in maimansingh district (Bangladesh). The longai river originates in the jampai hills of tripura state and travelling a course of northerly direction, turns south-west near longai railway station near Karimganj town. Near latu village, it enters Bangladesh and then flows to meet the hakaluki haor (haor = atoll-like span of water) which absorbs the entire inflow during the winter. During the rainy season, an outlet springs out which ultimately merges with the kushiara near fechuganj in sylhet district (Bangladesh). The singla river originates from Mizoram state and taking a northward direction, it falls in sonbill haor wherefrom the stream emerges bifurcated forming two rivulets - kachua and kakra. The kushiara and the longai are perennial rivers, whereas the others dry up during the winter.


 

Administrative Setup

 

Administrative Division Hills and Barak Valley Major Language Bengali(Bangla)
No.of Sub-Divisions 3 No.of Revenue Circles 5
No.of Developmental Blocks 7 No.of Educational Blocks 6
No.of Municipality Boards 1 No.of Town Committees 1
No.of Goan Panchyats 96 No.of Villages 1280
No.of Revenue Villages 1147 No.of Forest Villages 15
No.of Police Stations 7 No.of Police Out posts 2
No.of Fire Stations 6 No.of Post Offices 113
No.of Bank Branches 49 No.of Tea Estates 24

Political Setup

 

Lok Sabha Constituency Karimganj -HP-1(SC) Legislative Assembly Constituency 5(LA-1,LA-2,LA-3,LA-4,LA-5)

Health Setup

 

No.of District Hospitals 1 No.of Primary Health Centres 10
No.of Community Health Centres 3 No.of Sub Centres 217

Educational Setup

 

No.of University Assam University,Silchar (Nearest) No.of Degree Collegess 10
No.of Engineering Colleges NIT Sichar(Nearest) No.of Medical Colleges Silchar Medical College & Hospital (Nearest)
No.of Polytechnics 1 No.of ITIs 1
No.of HS and High Shool 107 No.of LP UP and ME Madrassa 1637/271/20

Demographic Setup

 

Total Area 1809 Sq. Km Total Population 1,228,686
Male Population 625,864 Female Population 602822
Rural Population 1118986 Urban Population 109700
SC Population (%) 12.85 ST Population (%) 0.16
Population Growth (%) 21.9 Density 673/Km Sq
Sex Ratio 961 Average literacy (%) 79.72
Male literacy (%) 85.7 Female literacy (%) 73.49
Total Household 247,714 Link for reference  Click here( Census 2011 site)
Data Source 2011 Census
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