Burnpur is an important industrial city in Asansol sub-division in the state of West Bengal, India . It is located in Bardhaman District, in the heart of the mining-industrial belt in the western periphery of the state. The city got its name from the Managing Agency house, Burn & Co., which promoted IISCO in 1918. The township came up with the construction of the iron-making plant. The Indian Standard Wagon factory was also set up in 1918 and shared the township with IISCO.
Burnpur It has an average elevation of 75 metres (249 feet). The location of the iron works was at Hirapur. It was a small hamlet amidst the sal (shorea robusta gaertn) forests, in Shergarh pargana belonging to the Raja of Panchakut (Panchet). Nearby villages were Narsinghbandh, Dharampur, Rangapara, Kalajharia, Nabaghunti, Santa, Napuria, Nakrasota, New Town & Chhotodighari. At that time the railway track of Bengal Nagpur Railway was there with a small station named Narsinghbandh. With the construction of the new township, the railway station was renamed Burnpur. When the steelmaking facilities were added the village of Napuria was absorbed in the plant.
Amongst the old inhabitants of the area, the Thakurs of Hirapur and the Dubeys of Narsighbandh are well known. Manik Chand Thakur, a descendant of Srinivas Thakur, who was a direct disciple of Sri Chaitanya, came and settled in Hirapur. Hirapur finds a mention as a village, under the jurisdiction of Asansol Police Station and Post office in the Village Directory of Burdwan District, compiled by the Post Master General of Bengal in 1884. The police station is still named Hirapur and the assembly constituency bore the same name for a long time.
G.H.Fairhurst, the first general manager of IISCO, had a long stay at Burnpur. He was instrumental not only for founding the township but also developing it socially. A middle school was named after Mary Fairhurst. H.V.Peeling spent about a quarter of a century at Burnpur and expanded the township. He was succeeded as group agent in 1949 by I.S.Puri. Ashok Chaterjee, who was Social & Welfare Adviser in Martin Burn was the person responsible for the acquisition of land for the growth and expansion of the plant and township. As the company’s township at Burnpur was hemmed in by private localities such as Subhaspally, Puranahat, Rambandh, Shyambandh, Santinagar, Rahmatnagar and Husseinnagar apart from the old villages, new townships were built at Chhotodighari and Riverside in the late fifties. The area along Burnpur Road and Radhanagore Road also filled up with houses and the town became contiguous with Asansol. The man responsible for development of social and cultural life at Burnpur since independence was N.R.Dutt.