List of districts in West Bengal
The Himalayas lies in the north of the state and the Bay of Bengal is at the south. In between them, the river Ganga flows eastwards and its main distributary, the Hooghly River, flows south to reach the Bay of Bengal. The Siliguri Corridor, which connects North-East India with rest of the India, lies in the North Bengal region of the state. Geographically, West Bengal is divided into a variety of regions—Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Terai and Dooars region, North Bengal plains, Rarh region, Western plateau and high lands, coastal plains, Sunderbans and the Ganga Delta.
In 1947, when India gained independence, the state of West Bengal was formed with 14 districts, as per partition plan of the then Bengal province of British India. The former princely state Koch Bihar joined as a district in 1950, and the former French enclave Chandannagore joined as part of the Hooghly district in 1954. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 led to addition of Purulia district to the state and to enlargement of West Dinajpur district. Later, larger districts such as West Dinajpur, 24 Parganas and Midnapore were bifurcated. Till 24 June 2014 West Bengal was divided into 19 districts.
West Bengal is now divided into 23 districts which includes the newly formed Jhargram district, Alipurduar district and the Kalimpong district, Paschim Bardhaman district under five divisions  and divisions are administered by Divisional Commissioners. Kolkata, the capital of the state, constitutes the Kolkata district. Other districts are further divided into administrative units such as subdivisions and blocks, administered by SDO and BDO, respectively. The Panchayati Raj has a three-tier structure in the state. The atomic unit is called a Gram Panchayat, which is the Panchayat organisation for a collection of villages. The block-level organisations are called Panchayat Samiti, and the district-level organisations are named Zilla Parishad.
Administrative structure[change | change source]
A district is governed by a District Collector, who is better known as a District Magistrate (DM) in the state of West Bengal. A DM is an officer from either Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or West Bengal Civil Service (WBCS), and is appointed by the State Government of West Bengal. Each district is divided into subdivisions, except the Kolkata district, which contains urban area only, administered by Kolkata Municipal Corporation. A subdivision is governed by a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), better known as a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO). Other than urban units such as town municipalities, a subdivision contains 'community development blocks' (also known as CD blocks or blocks). A block consists of urban units such as census towns and rural units called gram panchayats. A block is administered by a Block Development Officer (BDO), who is appointed by the Government of West Bengal.
A gram panchayat, which consists of a group of villages, is administered by a village council headed by a Pradhan. As per the West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973, each Block has a Panchayat Samiti, whose members include the Pradhans of the constituent gram panchayats, and the MLAs from the block. A Panchayat Samiti is headed by a Sabhadhipati. The third tier of the Panchayati Raj is Zilla Parishad, a district level organisation with the Sabhapatis of the constituent Panchayat Samitis and the MLAs from the district as its members. A Zilla Parishad is headed by a Sabhadhipati. For the Darjeeling district, the Zilla Parishad has ceased to exist, but a similar organisation for the Siliguri subdivision exists, which is designated as a Mahakuma Parishad.
The Gorkha Hill Council, formed in 1988, administers three (out of four) subdivisions of the Darjeeling district: Darjeeling Sadar, Kalimpong and Kurseong. Gorkha Hill Council manages the departments of Public Health, Education, Public Works, Transport, Tourism, Market, Small scale industries, Agriculture, Agricultural waterways, Forest (except reserved forests), Water, Livestock, Vocational Training and Sports and Youth services. District administration of Darjeeling, which is still responsible for election, panchayat, law and order, revenue etc., also acts as an interface between the Council and the State Government.
A District Superintendent of Police, better known as a Superintendent of Police, heads the District Police organisation of West Bengal Police. This is as per the Police Act of 1861, which is applicable to the whole of India. The Superintendents of Police are officers of the Indian Police Service. For every subdivision, there is a Subdivision Police, headed by a Police officer of the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police. Under subdivisions, there are Police Circles, each headed by an Inspector of Police. A Police Circle consists of Police Stations, each headed by an Inspector of Police, or in case of rural areas, by a Sub-Inspector of Police.
The Calcutta High Court has the jurisdiction of the state of West Bengal. Though most of the districts have more courts other than a District Court, not every subdivision of the state has a Court.
A group of districts forms a division, which is administered by a 'Divisional Commissioner'. West Bengal is now divided in twenty three districts, grouped under five divisions:
|Malda division||Burdwan division||Jalpaiguri division||Presidency division||Medinipur division|
Alphabetical listing of West Bengal[change | change source]
|Code||District||Headquarters||Established||Subdivisions||Area||Population As of 2011[update]||Population Density||Map|
|AD||Alipurduar||Alipurduar||2014||3,383 km2 (1,306 sq mi)||1,700,000||400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|BN||Bankura||Bankura||1947||6,882 km2 (2,657 sq mi)||3,596,292||523/km2 (1,350/sq mi)|
|BR||Purba Bardhaman||Bardhaman||2017||7,024 km2 (2,712 sq mi)||7,723,663||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
||1,603.17 km2 (618.99 sq mi)||2,882,031||1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)|
|BI||Birbhum||Suri||1947||4,545 km2 (1,755 sq mi)||3,502,387||771/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|KB||Cooch Behar||Cooch Behar||1950||3,387 km2 (1,308 sq mi)||2,822,780||833/km2 (2,160/sq mi)|
|DA||Darjeeling||Darjeeling||1947||2,092.5 km2 (807.9 sq mi)||1,797,422||859/km2 (2,220/sq mi)|
|ME||Purba Medinipur||Tamluk||2002||4,736 km2 (1,829 sq mi)||5,094,238||1,076/km2 (2,790/sq mi)|
|HG||Hooghly||Chinsura||1947||3,149 km2 (1,216 sq mi)||5,520,389||1,753/km2 (4,540/sq mi)|
|HR||Howrah||Howrah||1947||1,467 km2 (566 sq mi)||1,072,161||-|
|JP||Jalpaiguri||Jalpaiguri||1869||2,844 km2 (1,098 sq mi)||2,172,846||621/km2 (1,610/sq mi)|
|JH||Jhargram||Jhargram||2017||3,037.64 km2 (1,172.84 sq mi)||1,136,548||833/km2 (2,160/sq mi)|
|KO||Kolkata||Kolkata||1947||—||185 km2 (71 sq mi)||4,486,679||24,252/km2 (62,810/sq mi)|
|KA||Kalimpong||Kalimpong||2017||1,044 km2 (403 sq mi)||251,642|
|MA||Malda||English Bazar||1947||3,733 km2 (1,441 sq mi)||3,997,970||1,071/km2 (2,770/sq mi)|
|MU||Murshidabad||Baharampur||1947||5,324 km2 (2,056 sq mi)||7,102,430||1,334/km2 (3,460/sq mi)|
|NA||Nadia||Krishnanagar||1947||3,927 km2 (1,516 sq mi)||5,168,488||1,316/km2 (3,410/sq mi)|
|PN||North 24 Parganas||Barasat||1986||4,094 km2 (1,581 sq mi)||10,082,852||2,463/km2 (6,380/sq mi)|
|UD||Uttar Dinajpur||Raiganj||1992||3,140 km2 (1,210 sq mi)||3,000,849||956/km2 (2,480/sq mi)|
|PU||Purulia||Purulia||1956||6,259 km2 (2,417 sq mi)||2,927,965||468/km2 (1,210/sq mi)|
|PS||South 24 Parganas||Alipore||1986||9,960 km2 (3,850 sq mi)||8,153,176||819/km2 (2,120/sq mi)|
|DD||Dakshin Dinajpur||Balurghat||1992||2,219 km2 (857 sq mi)||1,670,931||753/km2 (1,950/sq mi)|
|ME||Paschim Midnapore||Medinipur||2002||9,345 km2 (3,608 sq mi)||5,943,300||636/km2 (1,650/sq mi)|
|Total||23||—||—||74||88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi)||91,347,736||1,029/km2 (2,670/sq mi)|
Demographics[change | change source]
|Rank||District||Population||Growth Rate||Sex Ratio||Literacy||Density/KM||Comparable Country (by population)|
|2||North 24 Parganas||11,060,148||12.86||955||84.53||2,445||Bolivia|
|6||South 24 Parganas||9,161,961||18.17||956||77.51||819||Honduras|
|80||Bankura||3,596,292||12.64||954||70.95||523||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|84||Birbhum||3,502,387||16.15||956||70.90||771||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
References[change | change source]
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