West Burdwan district was carved out of Burdwan on Friday by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, making it the 23rd district.
Addressing the inauguration programme of the new district, Mamata said that people of the district do not have to go to Kolkata any more for administrative work. “Every year, April 7 will be celebrated as the birthday of Paschim (West) Bardhaman district,” she said.
Mamata said 44,500 flats under housing scheme are being built in subsidence-affected areas at the new district. “Besides 24 special need support units, 5 sick neo-natal care units, 2 multi super-speciality hospitals would be built in Bardhaman district,” she said.
The chief minister also announced setting up a mishti (sweet) hub in the district to export sweets such as ‘langcha’, popular in Burdwan.
The new district comprises Burdwan Paschim, Asansol and Durgapur. With the division, the agrarian parts of Burdwan now fall under East Burdwan, while the industrial hub will come under West Burdwan, which has two sub-divisions – Asansol Sadar and Durgapur.
West Burdwan has 16 police stations. While Asansol Sadar comprises of nine police stations — Chittaranjan, Salanpur, Kulti, Hirapur, Asansol South, Asansol North, Barabani, Jamuria and Ranigunj, Durgapur has seven – Andal, Pandabeshwar, Faridpur-Durgapur, Durgapur, New Township, Coke Oven and Kanksa.
Shashank Sethi was appointed as the district magistrate, officials said.
Burdwan was once a Left bastion. Officials maintained that Burdwan’s division had been on the cards ever since Mamata came to power in 2011. In spite of its massive size and distinct geographic issues, the TMC maintained that the Left Front government had never wanted to divide Burdwan because of its link
to their own political rise in the district.
While districts like Midnapore and 24-Parganas were split, Burdwan wasn’t.
“Burdwan is where Left leaders like Hare Krishna Konar, Benoy Chowdhury, Rabin Sen, Mansur Habibullah, Haradhan Roy and Mehboob Jahedi came from. This also where the Left had brought forth land reforms. As a result, the Burdwan lobby during the Left regime was very important and they couldn’t split the district even though Alimuddin Street had wanted,” said a TMC leader.
Recently, Mamata had declared Jhargram as a new district. It was carved out of West Midnapore.