Halisahar is believed to exist from Indian early middle ages since the reign of Sultanates and was known as is a city of palaces ( Haveli Shahar ) during the Bengal Governorship of Ikhtiar ud din Bakhtiar Khilji in early 13th Century. One can find references of this township in Abul Fazal’s Ain-e-Akbari drafted in late 16th century as Halisahar. It is also believed that earlier the area was known as Kumarhatta according to a school of historians specialists in post Sashanka ( one of the greatest rulers of Bengal) period. It is the birthplace of many renowned spiritual and political leaders like Sripad Iswarpuri – The Guru of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sadhak Kabi Shri Ramparasd Sen, Lokmata Rani Rashmani, Freedom fighter Shri Bipin Bihari Ganguly and others.
Year of Establishment:
The Halisahar Municipality was established in the year 1903 at the northern end of the District of North 24 Parganas. This Municipality is situated on the eastern bank of the River Hooghly, surrounded by the border of Kalyani Municipality of Nadia District at the north, Naihati Municipality at the south, and Kanchrapara Municipality and Halisahar Railway Station at the east. The geographical location of the Municipality is 22 degree 57 minutes 15 seconds north Latitude and 88 degree 26 minutes 22 seconds longitude.
The area is bounded on the north by the Kalyani and Kanchrapara Municipality, on the east by the Jetia Panchayet, on the south by Naihati Municipality, and on the west by the Ganges River.
Linkages of Rail, Road, Port and Air:
The Halisahar Municipality is 50 km away from Kolkata, and can be accessed either by the National Highway No. 34 or through Kalyani Expressway by road and roughly takes 1 hour 30 minutes as commuting time.
Eastern railway – Sealdah Division Main line also connects Halisahar, which takes approximately one hour from the Sealdah Railway Station.
The Municipality can also be accessed through Dankuni by crossing the River Hooghly. The distance between the nearest airport and Halisahar is only 60 km and it takes approximately one hour to travel. Iswar Gupta Setu over river Hooghly is 2 km off Halisahar Municipality and connected to GT Road (NH-2), Assam Road, State Highway No. 6 with NH-34, Krishnanagar Road via Kalyani-Barackpore Expressway linking Northern, North-western, Eastern part of India and Bangladesh.
Traditionally, in Halisahar Municipality most investment in infrastructure has been publicly funded. The current total infrastructure spending is still financed by governments or public utilities, such as, Municipal Affairs Department, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, Kolkata Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority; West Bengal State Electricity Board; Public Works Department; West Bengal Pollution Control Board etc. by utilizing their own resources.
The Private sector located in the Halisahar Municipality contributes marginal costs of this basic infrastructure, mainly for the provision of water supply and sanitation for their own employees and units. The main industries that are located in this municipality are: – Hoogly Mills Project Limited – Hukumchand Unit; Naihati Jute Mills Company Limited; Indian Paper Pulp etc.
The other service providers are various commercial banks, post and telecommunication offices, hospitals and health care facilities including Office of Malaria Prevention Centre, charitable dispensaries, medicine shops, West Bengal National Volunteer Force, pathological centers, office of sub-inspector of primary school, provision of supply of dairy milk, rationing office, ration shops, grocery shops, shops for other essential commodities and products, training facilities for police, police out posts, amusement facilities, hotels and so on. The local transport is being served by private sector either by bus or by local vans or rickshaws. In addition to that there are many small-scale enterprises doing business on wood, steel, biri binding, sugar-candy, bakery etc.
The Municipality has 57 primary schools including 13 private primary schools, 11 secondary schools and 8 libraries. The Municipality is in close proximity to the Kalyani University, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya which are renowned major hubs for education and training.
Places of Interest:
The Halisahar is a place of interest and attracts a huge number of local tourists to for the Chaitanya Doba, Nanda Kishore Temple, Ram Parasad Vita, Birth place of Rani Rashmoni, Assam Bongo Saswata Math, Sankar Math, house of Bipin Behari Ganguly, house of Colonel K. P. Gupta, Chasma babar Majar, Jogananda Asram, Sri Pushan Ashram, Baghmor Church, Basanta Buri Tala and so on.
The major celebrations in Halisahar are Annakut Utsav on 26th January, Pratistha Dibosh of Image of Sri Ramprasad on 15th October and Kali Puja at Ramprasad Vita, Chaitanyo Doba Annual Festival, Nigamananda Maha-sanmelon Utsav, Sri Anukul Takur’s Annual Festival, Pushan Ashram Utsav in December, Urs Utsav, Halisahar Book Fair, Halisahar Mela, Baishakhi Mela, Bigyan Mela, Industrial Fair etc., where thousands of devotees and people from different parts of West Bengal come to attend. Millions of devotes come for bathing in the holy water of the Ganges during the auspicious days of the Bengali New Year, Akshay Tritiya, Mahalaya, Chhat Puja and during immersion of the Durga idols.
The wooden craft-making; manufacturing of clay potteries; silk screen printing; battick and badhni printing; soft toys and soft bag making; marketing of flowers; khes, balapose, woolen chaddar making by handloom etc. are the main traditional arts and crafts of Halisahar.
Halisahar Municipality is located on the great Gangetic delta. Its climate is very much influenced by the sea. The Municipality has a very tropical savanna type of climate, same as Kolkata and is dominated by 3 seasons – summer, monsoon and winter. The summer is hot and humid and continues from April to June. Summer is dominated by strong southwesterly monsoon winds. Monsoon arrives in mid June and stays up to September. Winter is the most pleasant time and lasts for 3 months of December, January and February. Early morning mists are common in winter. The annual mean temperature is 26.80 C. The maximum temperature often exceeds 400 C. The temperature does not fall below 100 C. Maximum rainfall occurs during the monsoon in August (306 mm) and the average annual total is 1,582 mm. Total duration of sunshine is 2,528 hours per annum with maximum rainfall occurring in mid July/August.
Soil and Ground Water Scenario:
The total built-up or developed area is 628.28 Hectare or 75.79% of total land, whereas the non-built area is 200.72 Hectare i.e., 24.21%. An amount of total 146.38 Hectare i.e., 17.63% of land are currently either lying unused or used for unorganized wetlands, in-sanitary watercourses, drainage network and/or outfalls and disaster prone areas. The maximum land is being used for residential purposes, i.e., 49.35%, whereas 9.52% is being used for industry, 3.30% for agriculture, 1.24% for commercial, 2.85% for institutional, 5.47% for roads, 1.62% for railways, 3.28% for public parks/gardens and 3.16% for semi public purposes.
Depending upon the soils and climatic variations, the ULB in fallen into the category of the Gangetic Alluvial Region in the east, which comprises of Nadia, and parts of Malda, Dakshin Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Burdwaman, Hooghli and 24 Parganas districts. Soils of this area are mostly neutral in reaction. Upland soils are lighter in texture and contain higher proportions of fine sand and silt, which helps water recharge. Here the groundwater potential is very high and the aquifer character is mostly unconfined. The region is suitable for cultivation of all kinds of field and horticulture crops.
However, the soil erosion is a serious problem in Halisahar Municipality. To prevent soil erosion a large-scale plantation programe including awareness and motivation campaign has been planned and a part of that is already under implementation through Ganga Action Plan under assistance from the Government of India.