Past history of the formation of Durgapur

At around 1765, Gopinath Chattopadhyay, a man of great courage and determination got a portion of Jangalmahal (presently within Durgapur) in lease from the then Maharaja of Bardhaman. This particular region latar came to be known as Gopinathpur Mouja. Gopinath tried his best to make this dense forest region suitable for human living. Durgacharan, a descendant of Gopinath undertook the incomplete task. He set up a new colony at the present Sagarbhanga region of Durgapur. There he set up a Kali temple in 1793 and a Shiva temple in 1803. Apart from these two constructions, the Zamindar house still stands in Sagarbhanga as a symbol of the massive work done by Durgacharan Chattopadhyay.

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View of the Durgapur Railway Station in old days

In 1855, when East India Company laid the railway line between Bardhaman and Andal, the station here was named Durgapur, by the initiative of the local people, as a mark of respect to Durgacharan. Thus came the name Durgapur and for the first time got a position in text by virtue of its location in the railway-grid of the country.
In 1905, when the whole of Bengal was undergoing a major political turmoil and unrest, Burn Company set up a tile manufacturing factory near Durgapur Railway Station and sowed the first seed of industry in the region. But the seed germinated quite late. The chimney of this non-productive factory can still be seen from Durgapur Railway Station.
This region first attracted attention due to severe flood of Damodar which destroys the roadway and railway link between Calcutta and western provinces every year. Dr. Meghnad Saha, in the Indian Science Congress of 1934 put forward the plan of setting a multipurpose project in order to tame the “Sorrow of Bengal”, Damodar. After independence, at the initiative taken by our first Prime Minister, Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the “Damodar Valley Bill” was passed in the Lok Sabha on 18th February 1948. The bill proposed that nine dams would be constructed on River Damodar and its distributaries and for this Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) was formed. Durgapur was one among the nine proposed site where dams were to be erected. Construction of Durgapur Barrage began in 1952 and ended in 1958.
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Construction of Durgapur Steel Plant going on

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the first Chief Minister of Bengal was a foresighted man and he realized the potentiality of the region to grow up as an industrial belt. In August 1955, Dr. Roy sent a letter to the then Industrial Minister, Mr. T.K.Krishnamachari, stating him the advantages of setting up an Iron and Steel factory in Durgapur. After a long exchange of notes and letters, the Union Government finally gave sanction for setting up the third Iron and Steel factory of the country at Durgapur. An agreement was signed with the British Consortium and they were endowed with the massive task of setting up the “Mother Industry” of the region. On January 1957, construction work of Durgapur Iron and Steel Plant started and on December 1959, Iron production started for the first time in the Blast Furnace.
With the birth of the Steel Plant, Durgapur got a permanent place on the map of India, and new horizon opened up. Dream of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy of making Durgapur “The Ruhr of Bengal” started taking shape. Many new industries were set up and Durgapur made its own distinctive position as a potential industrial hub of the country.

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18 Comments on Past history of the formation of Durgapur

  1. I PASSED MAJOR PERIOD OF MY WORKING LIFE IN DURGAPUR.ON KNOWING PAST HISTORY OF DURGAPUR I AM VERY MUCH EXCITED AS WELL AS DELIGHTED.

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  2. I am very much eager to the family history of Mr.Durga Charan Chattopadhyay who was a descendant of Mr.Gopinath Chattopadhyaya. I am talking about the particular Durga Charan Chattopadhyaya by whose name Durgapur city was named. If any body knows or having any information regarding Durga Charan Chattopadhyaya may share the same.

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  3. I BELONG TO DURGAPUR ALSO BORN & BROUGHT UP. MY ANCESTRAL HOUSE IS LOCATED IN GOPINATHPUR JUST ADJACENT TO THE KALIBARI THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT IN 1793. MY GRANDFATHER WAS LT. SAKTIPADA CHATTERJEE & GRAND MOTHER NAME WAS LT. (MRS) BHAKTI CHATTERJEE, MY FATHER NAME WAS LT. ASHOKE CHATTERJEE, MY MOTHER NAME IS MRS. SHIBANI CHATTERJEE, WE ARE ONE SISTER(NAME. BARNALI CHATTERJEE(ROY).& ONE BROTHER. THE CHATTAPADHAYA(FOUNDING FATHERS OF GOPINATHPUR & DURGAPUR) ARE OUR RELATIVES. I AM THE POSTERITY OF LT. GOPINATH CHATTAPADHAY & LT. DURGACHARAN CHATTAPADHAY. I FEEL PROUD, I AM BELONG THIS ARISTOCRACYFAMILY THAT TH HISTORY OF GOPINATHPUR & DURGAPUR, WHERE I WAS BORN& BROUGHT UP, HAS BEEN NICELY DOCUMENTED AND MADE ONLINE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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  4. A very well written article. Durgapur has transformed over the years and the change has been ever more rapid in the recent past. That small town where I grew up has still not lost its charm. Those serene and broad roads of steel township, those cycle rides to school, those tutions at recol park, those shopping sprees at benachity market, those hot summer afternoons and cricket at dayanand avenue ground... OOh... how I miss those!

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  5. Durgapur is the place where I spent my childhood to adolescence. Lot of sweet memories. I have not forget like walking to Kumarmangalam Park, going to watch cinema in Anuradha, Chitralaya and Durgapur Cinema. At that time city centre did not developed too much but Madhusudan College was set in 1997.
    So Durgapur i cannot forget you in my whole life. People of Durgapur was very kind in nature.

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  6. I belong to Durgapur. My ancestral house is located in Gopinathpur just adjacent to the Kalibari that have been built in 1793. The Chattapadhyays (founding fathers of Gopinathpur & Durgapur) are our relatives. It makes me feel proud that the history of Gopinthapur & Durgapur, where I was brought up, has been nicely documented and made online.

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  7. I consider myself fortunate to have spent 3 years of my childhood in Durgapur. My father was involved in the building of the steelworks, working for Wellman,Smith, and Owen. I was there from 1958 to 1961. I have many happy memories of Durgapur but, unfortunately, very few pictures of the old township. Durgapur will always have a special place in my heart.

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    • Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) has emerged to highly modern and sophisticated plant from what was in sixties but I experienced that what technology and equipment was given at that time was really robust, rugged and long lasting. In some substations we are steel using those Oil Circuit Breakers made by Metro Vicks, ABB etc. which were supplied during inception of DSP in 1959. Durgapur has now 2nd biggest city in West Bengal after Kolkata with all modern . It has an edge over Kolkata in respect of spacious and planned townships, greenery and wide roads. It is modern city without calmourous of town. It is very peaceful which has attracted many ex-employees of DSP of different states of India to settle here making it a cosmopolitan city. Though I'm a Calcuttan and came to Durgapur for service, but I love this city for its own beauty and advantages.
      The Durgapur Steel City is one of the best industrial city in India. It attracted me so much that I built my dream house leaving the company quarter in Bengal Ambuja complex, the most posh area of City Centre, Durgapur. Durgapur is really a gift of nature and Dr. Bidhan Ch. Roy, the father of modern Bengal.

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  8. Really good stuff! Being brought up in Durgapur, makes it an interesting read. However curious to know the source of info..

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  9. As far as I know, Durgapur was built on 7 villages named after 7 sons, out of which Durgacharan was the eldest. The seven villages are Gopinathpur, Narayanpur, Bhairavpur, Anandapur, Beharpur(but not too sure), Gopalpur etc. This information was shared by one of Durgapur's Greatest son who won Rastrapati Puraskar and was the Headmaster of Benachity TN Boys' School in a souvenir.

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  10. I m sorry....abt the naming. ur articles is very well researched...but the nmae part is wrong. This place got the name of Durgapur not from Durgacharan...but from Devi Durga...becos the first Durga Puja in India was performed here in the current Garh Jungle mandir, as referred to in the "Chandi Purana" & if i remmbr correctly, by Viswamitra Muni.

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    • Dear,
      What I have written is very well researched to the best of my ability. But that does not mean that it is perfect and right. I have mentioned in my article that history of Durgapur demands research. Now, what you have written is not known to me. Can you please guide me to your source of information.
      It would be great if you write an article about the naming of Durgapur, mentioning the source of your information.

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  11. Durgapur is my Karm Bhumi.I love Durgapur because it have given me every thing i.e. Name,Fame etc.

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  12. This is amazing information. Me, an avowed Durgapurian, had no inkling of the information put in the first three paragraphs !
    Kudos to you ! Keep up the great work !!

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  13. Durgapur is my birthplace, today I know the history of my birthplace. Thanks to Durgapur Adda.com

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