Hailakandi District at a Glance
Declared as the 24th district of Assam in 1989 by a Government of Assam Notification No. AAA.98/89/Pt/I dt. 29/09/1989, Hailakandi is one of the fastest forward marching districts in the Barak Valley Region of Assam. Several myths are associated with the name ‘Hailakandi’. In Barak Valley dyke is constructed for protection of people and land from flood. This dyke is colloquially pronounced as ‘Ail’ or ‘Hail’. In the Bodokachari language ‘Kandi’ means temporary paddy land and this is how the district came to be known as ‘Hailkandi’ and then as ‘Hailakandi’. According to some historians the district got its name from the ‘Kuki’ word ‘Halam’ means a small state and the word ‘Kundia’ meaning a plot of land for temporary ploughing. Another myth associated with the name of the district is Sali Paddy is grown abundantly as a staple food crop and from ‘Sailkandi’ the district came to be known as Hailakandi.
Brief Locational Sketch
Hailakandi district is situated at the southernmost corner of Assam. The district Headquarter is 350 KM away from the state capital Guwahati. The district is located at the Centre of Barak Valley and sandwiched by river Barak and Cachar district in the North and East, Mizoram in the South and East and Karimganj in the West. The inter-state border of the district stretches over 76 KM in the south-east.
Journey to the History
Perched in the heart of Barak Valley, Hailakandi was one of the oldest Sub-Divisions of Assam constituted on 1st June, 1869. At the time of partition i.e. during 1946-47, Shri U.C. Roy, ACS was the Sub-Divisional Officer of Hailakandi. Prior to its emergence as a full-fledged district, Hailakandi was a Civil Sub-Division under Cachar district and when it became a district, Shri J.N. Sharma, IAS, DC Cachar was holding the charge of Hailakandi till 13th October 1989. Shri A.K. Mailk, ACS took over the charge of Deputy Commissioner of Hailakandi on October 14, 1989.
Despite Hailakandi’s wearing a modern look, the district is rich in cultural heritage and tradition. It is in fact a melting pot of cultures and a converging ground of diverse caste, creed and religion. The district has glorious records of having participated in the Freedom Movement of India. Hailakandi’s role in India’s freedom struggle started right from the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 when leaders from this part of the region had a valiant fight with the British soldiers at a place called ‘Ron Tila’ at Mohanpur in Hailakandi where some of the Indian leaders laid down their lives for the cause of Motherland. Several youths of the district also took part in Gandhiji’s Civil Disobedience Movement and Quit India Movement. Prominent among them are Sanat Das Gupta, Upendra Dhar, Abdul Matlib Mazumdar, Sunil Chakraborty and others.
Much of the historical antecedents of Hailakandi can be traced back to the British Raj in India. Till the invasion of the British administrators water way was the only means of connectivity in the district. During early British period changes in Transport and Communication system had taken place. The British rulers established many tea gardens and for transportation of raw and finished products, Hailakandi was linked with railway line. Gradually with the passage of time road communication developed in the district. Some scattered publications and public opinion highlighted the names of some managers of Tea Gardens viz. Mr. James Marshall Winchister, Mr. Mac Farlene Chalmers and M.R. Hoiates. The present Chalmers Higher Secondary School in Katlicherra was set up after the name of Mr. Mac Farlene Chalmers. The Graham M.V. School of Hailakandi was named after Mr. Grahame, the Sub-Divisional Officer of Hailakandi Sub-Division. The present Hertbertganj Bazar was named after Mr. Hertbert, the then SDO of Hailakandi. Besides the contributions of the Britishers, the land donated by some renowned families of Hailakandi for construction of schools still are the flag-bearers of the rich history of the district. Many National leaders includinng Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru visited the district in the pre-independence period.
Ministers in Hailakandi
Hailakandi has the distinction of producing more number of ministers in the State Government than any other district. Though suffering from ‘distant area syndrome’, the district always received special treatment from the Government which is reflected by the number of ministers in the State Government from the district. The ministers represented and representing Hailakandi district in different times are-
Geography of the District
Nestled in the heart of Barak Valley, geographically Hailakandi occupies an important position. Located in plain and an apparently mountainous region, the district bears a cultural link-up with South East Asia on one hand and mainland India on the other. The topographical feature of the district is one that is diversified by plains and hills, bearing a link with the rest of the state through North Cachar Hills. Total geographical area of the district is 1327 Sq. KM. of which 10.53 Sq. KM falls in urban areas and 1316.47 Sq. KM in villages.
The district receives heavy rainfall with high humidity in summer. The average rainfall is 2873 mm and humidity is 85 per cent. In winter climate is cold and dry. There is piercing cold in December and January. Maximum Temperature ranges from 30-34 Degree Celsius and Minimum Temperature is 6-12 Degree Celsius.
Hailakandi attained the status of a district in 1989. The district consists of four revenue circles viz. Hailakandi, Lala, Katlicherra and Algapur and five development blocks viz. Hailakandi, South Hailakandi, Lala, Katlicherra and Algapur. To ensure that the fruits of development percolate down to the lowest level, district has been further divided in to 62 Gaon Panchayats. The district has two numbers of towns- Hailakandi and Lala. Both the towns have elected Urban Local Bodies with 16 Wards in Hailakandi and 10 in Lala. There are four police stations in the district viz. Hailakandi, Algpaur, Lala and Katlicherra.
Geographical distribution of population belonging to different groups in the district is interesting. Total population in the district is 542872 as per 2001 census of which 44085 live in urban areas and 498787 in villages.
Population Break-up in the district
(As per 2001 census)
Hailakandi is blessed with people with different language hues. Though these people speak in different languages, they epitomize unity in diversity.
Language Population Language Population
1. Assamese 1463 10. Marathi 12
2. Bengali 452968 11. Nepali 341
3. Bodo 182 12. Oriya 2110
4. Gujrathi 11 13. Punjabi 21.
5. Hindi 53275 14. Santhali 151
6. Kannada 5 15. Sindi 1
7. Maithili 6 16. Tamil 44
8. Malayalam 49 17. Telegu 692
9. Manipuri 10742 18. Urdu 12
The diverse topography, fertility of the soil and climate pattern through their long, continued interplay have created an environmental condition in the district that favours the growth of a variety of natural vegetations. The total area under cultivation is 67459 hectare. Though the practice of agriculture to a large extent is traditional, development of science and technology to a great extent has brought about a positive change in its agricultural sector particularly in terms of technification and productivity. Among the food crops rice nearly occupies 26700 hectare of the district’s total agricultural area. The cash crops produced in the district include cotton, tobacco, turmeric, sugarcane and so on and so forth.
Total area and classification of Area in District
(Area in hectare)
Hailakandi is well conncected by Airways, Roadways and Railways to the rest of the country. Nearest Airport is Kumbhir Gram, Rail Station is Hailakandi and Badarpur. Moreover, direct buses ply between Hailakandi and other places.
Steeped in scenic splendour of nature in the midst of vast expanse of cropland and meandering river, Hailakandi is a treasure trove of cultural and religious tourism. Places which can rightfully claim a place in tourism map of Assam are Siddyashar Bari Sibmandir at Badarpur Ghat and Pach Pirr Mukam in South Hailakandi
Though agriculture is the mainstay for the people, a Paper Mill located has its role in the growth of Hailakandi. The small scale units created bottom line for industrialization in the district are:
Industry Total No.
Manufacture of Food Products and Beverages 19
Manufacture of Wood and Wooden Products 3
Manufacture of Paper and paper products 1
Though endowed with rich and diverse human resources, infrastructural development for higher education is need of the hour in Hailakandi district. After independence some schools and colleges were established in the district like Indrakumari Girls’ High School, Horekishore High School, Jankicharan High School and Lala Multipurpose High School, S.S. College etc. However, administrative efforts and reform works are going on in tandem, for Hailakandi to catch up with other advanced districts in the state.
NUMBER OF INSTITUTIONS IN HAILAKANDI DISTRICT
(As on 12/05/2010)
STUDENT ENROLMENT IN SCHOOLS
(As on 12/05/2010)
NUMBER OF TEACHERS IN DIFFERENT SCHOOLS(As on 12/05/2010)