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How was Durgapur Formed? – History of Steel City Durgapur

Durgapur is known for its huge industrial chain in India.

“The Ruhr of India” was basically an unorganized place and Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, former chief minister of West Bengal first took a step of industrialization in this place.

Now, Durgapur is India’s one of the biggest Industrial hubs.

This huge industrial belt is situated between two rivers, Ajoy and Damodar.

This place was known as Gopinathpur, after the name of the landlord Gopinath Chattopadhyay.

Later, this area was handed over to his son Durgacharan Chattopadhyay. Hence, the name “Durgapur” came.

On 2nd October in the year, 1855, a halt station was founded in this area.

The station was named “Durgapur” according to the name of the landlord Durgacharan Chattopadhyay.

Raniganj was a active coal mine back then as well.

To deliver the coal in various parts, Burdwan- Ondal railway was constructed.

So, it was necessary to establish a halt station.

After few years, the halt station was converted into a rail station and it started to gain its popularity, as it was very close to Raniganj.

A small town started to grow around the station, and the town was named “Durgapur”.

In the year 1872, six sub-divisions were announced under Burdwan district.

Those were, Burdwan, Budbud, Raniganj, Katwa, Kalna and Jahanabad.

It was under the supervision of former chief minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, Durgapur truely starts to develop.

Bidhan chandra roy
Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy

Many factories started to get established here and Durgapur gained its fame.

In the year, 1968 Durgapur was considered as a new sub-division due to its increasing popularity and huge number of industrialization.

A PSU, named Durgapur Project Limited was founded here, in the year 1961, and it constructed the Durgapur Barrage.

As the number of industries was ongoing in this area, so there was a much need of a power plant.

That’s why, Durgapur Project Limited (DPL) was founded.

Now Durgapur had both Power and Coal.

Dr. B.C. Roy then wished to establish a Steel plant in Durgapur.

He wrote a letter to former Prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

But, he declined the proposal of establishing a new steel plant in this area.

Durgapur was in 100 miles radius from former East Pakistan (Bangladesh).

Nehru had a fear that, if Pakistan ever attacked India, the Steel Plant would be the prime target.

But in the year 1954 finally Dr. B.C. Roy got permission for foundation of Steel Plant in Durgapur.

There is a story behind this.

Queen Elizabeth at Durgapur
Queen Elizabeth in Durgapur ( CC: Wikimedia)

When, Mr. Nehru denied to give permission for Steel plant, Dr.B.C.Roy didn’t give up.

Once, former Central minister of Industry, Nityananda Kanungo and Dr. B.C.Roy both attended a meeting in Delhi.

In the middle of the meeting, Nityananda Kanungo got sick.

So, Dr. B.C.Roy treated him and cured him.

As a fee Nityananda Kanungo asked Dr.B.C.Roy for whatever he wanted.

Dr.B.C.Roy in return just asked for the permission to establish his dream Steel plant in Durgapur.

So, Nityananda Kanungo gave him permission and the famous Steel Plant was opened in the year 1954.

Since then, Durgapur never looked back and now it is known worldwide for the wide range of Industries that it houses making it one of the biggest industrial hub in Eastern India.

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