Hooghly district forms a part of the flat alluvial plains of the lower Gangetic delta. It lies on the western bank of the Hooghly, a distributary of the Ganges. The river bank of the Hooghly is heavily industrialised. The Dwarakeswar, in the western part of the district, forms the dividing line between the uplands and the plains. It is subsequently joined by the Shilabati to form the Rupnarayan, flowing along the western boundary of the district. The Damodar intersects the district. Human intervention in the form of construction of roads and railways and flood control measures have affected the topography. Urbanisation and industrialisation has altered land use pattern of the district. With a very high density of population (1,601 per km2), about 66% of the population live in the rural areas. In 2001, Hindus formed 83.63% of the population followed by Muslims, who formed 15.14% of the population. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes together constituted 43% of the population.
Tarakeswar is located at 22°53′N 88°01′E.
Tarakeswar CD Block is bounded by Dhaniakhali CD Block, in the north, Haripal, CD Block in the east, Jangipara CD Block, in the south and Pursurah CD Block in the west.
It is located 45 km from Chinsurah, the district headquarters.
Tarakeswar CD Block has an area of 119.90 km2.Tarakeswar police station serves this CD Block. Tarakeswar panchayat samity has 10 gram panchayats. The block has 81 inhabited villages. Headquarters of this block is at Tarakeswar.
Gram panchayats of Tarakeswar block/ panchayat samiti are: Astara-Duttapur, Baligori I, Baligori II, Bhanjipur, Champadanga, Keshabchak, Naita-Mal Paharpur, Purba Ramnagar, Santoshpur and Talpur.
As per 2011 Census of India Tarakeswar CD Block had a total population of 179,148, all of which were rural. There were 91,534 (51%) males and 87,614 (49%) females. Population below 6 years was 17,096. Scheduled Castes numbered 42,338 and Scheduled Tribes numbered 9,034.
As per 2001 census, Tarakeswar block had a total population of 162,355, out of which 83,141 were males and 79,214 were females. Tarakeswar block registered a population growth of 11.56 per cent during the 1991-2001 decade. Decadal growth for Hooghly district was 15.72 per cent. Decadal growth in West Bengal was 17.84 per cent.
Large villages in Tarakeswar CD Block (2011 census figures in brackets): Santoshpur (4,063), Talpur (5,389), Moktarpur (6,364), Bhanjipur (4,433), Purba Ramnagar (7,759), Baligari (5,845), Astara (6,590) and Champadanga (12,518).
As per 2011 census the total number of literates in Tarakeswar CD Block was 129,574 (79.96% of the population over 6 years) out of which 71,609 (55%) were males and 57,965 (45%) were females.
As per 2011 census, literacy in Hooghly district was 81.80%. Literacy in West Bengal was 77.08% in 2011. Literacy in India in 2011 was 74.04%.
As per the 2001 census, Tarakeswar block had a total literacy of 56.23 per cent. While male literacy was 77.61 per cent, female literacy was 54.66 per cent.
See also – List of West Bengal districts ranked by literacy rate
Bengali is the local language in these areas.
In 2011 census Hindus numbered 159,330 and formed 88.94% of the population in Tarakeswar CD Block. Muslims numbered 18,274 and formed 10.20% of the population. Others numbered 1,544 and formed 0.86% of the population.
In 2011, Hindus numbered 4,574,569 and formed 82.89% of the population in Hooghly district. Muslims numbered 870,204 and formed 15.77% of the population. In West Bengal Hindus numbered 64,385,546 and formed 70.53% of the population. Muslims numbered 24,654,825 and formed 27.01% of the population.
The first wave of industrialisation (in Hooghly district, as well as the region) came with the establishment of jute mills along the banks of the Hooghly River long back in the British era. The district has moved from an overwhelmingly rural society with a mere 14.92% of the population living in urban areas in 1901 to a more urban society with 33.47% of the population living in urban areas in 2001. Increasing urbanisation has opened up a broader range of livelihood opportunities. However, in 12 out of the 18 community development blocks in the district the entire population continued to live in the rural areas in 2001. The district presents a unique picture of 12 municipalities surrounded by rural areas.
In the rural areas of the district while 14.95% of the total workers were cultivators, agricultural labourers were 24.31%, thereby indicating the huge pressure on land that outstrips its ownership. In Tarakeswar CD Block, while cultivators were 26.86% of the total workers, agricultural labourers formed 34.66%. Household workers formed 3.73% and other workers 34.75%. Up to 30.11.2006 a total of 5,260 hectares of vested agricultural land was distributed amongst 71,643 persons in Hooghly district. Amongst different categories of workers engaged in agriculture in Tarakeswar CD Block 18.41% were bargadars, 7.60% patta (ownership document) holders, 6.77% small farmers, 11.50% marginal farmers and 55.72% agricultural workers in 2001.
Agricultural activities or cultivation is divided into two categories: crop cultivation and plantation (orchards). There is a general belief that plantations are more remunerative. In Tarakeswar CD Block 63.85% of the land is used for crop cultivation and 2.75% for orchards. In Tarakeswar CD Block 81.79% of the land is sown more than once. Tarakeswar CD Block produced 21,300 tonnes of Aman paddy from 8,045 hectares, 336,000 tonnes of Boro paddy from 2,388 hectares, 42,000 tonnes of jute from 2,443 hectares and 238,450 tonnes of potatoes from 7,721 hectares in 2005-06. In Tarakeswar CD Block out of the total cultivated area of 7,783 hectares 300 hectares is drought prone and 500 hectares is flood prone. The irrigation system in Hooghly district is based on five rivers: Bhagirathi, Damodar, Mundeswari, Darakeswar and Sankari. Erosion of the river banks of these rivers pose a problem in many areas, particularly the Khanakul area.
Hooghly district has the distinction of all mouzas (villages) being electrified by 2005. In Tarakeswar CD Block all 90 mouzas were electrified. However, in Tarakeswar CD Block 51.93% of households owned houses with electricity and 41.42% households owned houses with toilets in 2001.
In the rural areas of Hooghly district there are wide variations amongst the CD Blocks regarding families living below poverty line (BPL). The data provided in the table given below is based on a household survey for BPL list carried out by the state government in 2005.
Tarakeswar CD Block had 8471 hectares of canals. In Tarakeswar CD Block 567.46 hectares was the nett area under effective pisiculture and 7,188 persons were engaged in the profession. Approximate annual production in 2003-04 was 22,484.4 qtl. In 2003-04 Tarakeswar had 47.26 km of surfaced roads under PWD, 43.38 km surfaced roads under Zilla Parishad and 173 km unsurfaced roads under Zilla Parishad.
This is a rich agricultural area with several cold storages. Though rice is the prime crop of the district, the agricultural economy largely depends on potato, jute, vegetables and orchard products. Vegetable is a prize crop in the blocks of Haripal, Singur, Chanditala, Polba and Dhaniakhali being grown in a relay system throughout the year. Though potato is cultivated in all the blocks of this district Dhaniakhali, Arambagh, Goghat, Pursurah, Haripal, Polba-Dadpur, Tarakeswar, Pandua and Singur contributed much of its production of this district.
Tarakeswar CD Block has 27 originating/ terminating bus routes.
The broad gauge Sheoraphuli–Tarakeswar branch line was opened by the Tarkessur Railway Company on 1 January 1885 and was worked by East Indian Railway Company.
The Tarakeswar-Bishnupur project was sanctioned in 1999-2000. Eastern Railway gave out details of the project in 2003. The proposed fully electrified line was divided into three parts: Tarakeswar-Arambagh (26 km), Arambagh-Kodabari (16 km), and Kodabari-Bishnupur (44 km).
State Highway 2 (West Bengal), running from Bankura to Malancha (in North 24 Parganas district), and State Highway 15 (West Bengal), running from Dainhat (in Bardhaman district) to Gadiara (in Howrah district), pass through this CD Block.
In 2003-04, Tarakeswar CD Block had 114 primary schools with 14,006 students, 2 middle schools with 534 students, 14 high schools with 12,695 students and 4 higher secondary schools with 6,871 students. Tarakeswar CD Block had 1 general college with 2,549 students and 173 institutions with 6,462 students for special and non-formal education.
Tarakeswar CD Block had hospital, 2 health centres, 32 clinics and 1 dispensary with 68 beds and 7 doctors in 2003.