Durgapur is a city of the state of West Bengal, India, located about 160 km from Kolkata, in the Burdwan District. It was a dream child of the great visionary Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second chief minister of the state. The well laid out industrial township, designed by Joseph Allen Stein and Benjamin Polk is home to one of the largest industrial units in the state, Durgapur Steel Plant, one of the integrated steel plants of Steel Authority of India Limited.
Alloy Steels Plant of SAIL and CMERI, a CSIR laboratory, are also here. There are a number of power plants, chemical and engineering industries etc. Some metallurgical units have come up in recent years. The National Institute of Technology, Durgapur (earlier known as Durgapur Regional Engineering College [REC]) is one of the most prominent seats of the Indian Central Government's Engineering and Technological Education. Durgapur is, also, termed as the commercial capital of Rarh region.
2002 onwards, Durgapur has been witnessing radical changes, with rapid development in segments like industry, real estates, IT and ITES firms, education etc. The changes are with respect to infrastructure as well as industrial growth for steel (direct reduced iron), metal, cement and knowledge-based industries. Durgapur during the last five years got more than 12 engineering and technology, management as well as professional study colleges (undergraduate level). Housing co-operatives and flats, shopping malls, multiplex, science and energy park, software technology park (STPI), hotels and stadiums have also come up. In 2007, a shopping mall by ADDA, named Suhatta was opened by Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharya. He inaugurated seven institutes that day including a polytechnic college. Star hotels like Peerless Inn, City Residency, Rose Valley etc. are here.
During the years 2001-2007 Durgapur saw the setting up of 10 to 15 middle/large scale industrial investment in iron and steel manufacturing sector including value added products like sponge iron, wire rod, TMT bar (thermo mechanical treatment) for construction, iron casting powder etc. The prominent investors are MB Group, Jai Balaji group, SPS group, Adhunik Group of Industries, Neo Metallic, Stolberg India, Super Smelters Ltd, Shyam Steel, UltraTech Cement etc.
Durgapur is home to a large number of electronic media houses. In fact, it is next, only to Kolkata and Guwahati, in serving as the operation bases and headquarters for the largest number of electronic media channels in Eastern India. Express News, Express Plus, Axes Info Media, TV 7, Shaan (formerly HTV), VOX 24x7, Bangla Live, Natun Bangla, DSTV (Cannel owned by DSP), Naadia TV, Hallow India, TV Bangla are some of them. Ganashakti, I-Core Ekdin, Sakalbela, Good Morning Asansol, Shilpanchal Express, are printed from the city. Anandabazar Patrika is published from Ghutgoria, near Durgapur, in Bankura District, and has a separate Asansol-Durgapur edition. Dainik Jagaran has a Durgapur Edition, too. Durgapur do not have any F.M. stations. However 92.7 Big FM and 93.5 Red FM has stations at Asansol, and serves the twin cities of Asansol and Durgapur.
Places of interest:
- Santiniketan – location of Visva Bharati, established by Rabindranath Tagore. It is about 60 km away from Durgapur.
- Bishnupur – the famous terracotta temple town and home to major art and crafts. It is about 70 km away from Durgapur. The Bankura horse, symbol of Indian handicrafts is produced at Panchmura, near Bishnupur. It is also the home of the Baluchari sari, originally woven with motifs based on stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, but now modernized.
- Jaydev Kenduli – temple and birthplace of Sanskrit poet Joydeb, on the banks of the Ajay River. This place is about 30 km away from Durgapur. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti (Winter Solstice), a fair is organized here. Bauls, religious singers with a detached philosophy and spontaneity of their own, participates in this fair, which is held in mid January every year.
- Bakreshwar – a hot spring and temple, lying about 60 km away from Durgapur.
- Churulia - birthplace of the famous Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. He is considered the national poet of Bangladesh. The village is about 60 km from Durgapur, and contains a museum with his works and a memorial for him.
- Durgapur Barrage – A dam and a tourist spot on river Damodar.
- Randiha – The Anderson Weir (named after John Anderson, 1st Viscount Waverley, who inaugurated it), a diversion constructed in 1932, 19 km downstream of Durgapur Barrage on river Damodar is a wonderful serene tourist spot located in the Chaktentul Gram Panchayet in Galsi I block. Across the river lies Sonamukhi. A tourist to Randiha must visit the Ancient Mound at Bharatpur on the Silampur-Randiha Road, a monument of National Importance, has been excavated jointly by the Archaeological Survey of India and the University of Burdwan has yielded evidence of habitational sequence from the Chalcolithic times to the 12th century. Randiha is about 10 km from Panagarh railway station.
- Nehru Park, Burnpur – Originally named (& popular as Lahmeyer Park, after F.W.A.Lahmeyer, a General Manager of IISCO who had inaugurated it) Riverside Park, it has been renamed after Jawaharlal Nehru in 1989 on his birth centenary. Undulating terrain, meandering brook and a musical fountain are added attractions to the park. Located on the banks of the Damodar river in Burnpur. It is located 14 km south-west of the Asansol railway station with minibuses aplenty.