Community development block
|District||South 24 Parganas|
|• Total||306.18 km2 (118.22 sq mi)|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|• Density||750/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|• Official||Bengali, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5.30 (IST)|
|Telephone code||+91 3218|
|Vehicle registration||WB-19 to WB-22, WB-95 to WB-99|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Jaynagar (SC)|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Kultali (SC)|
During the Bengal Famine of 1943, the Communist Party of India provided relief to the peasantry of the Sundarbans area. In September 1946 Bangiya Pradeshik Kisan Sabha decided to launch the Tebhaga movement. The peasant movement broke out in Kakdwip, Sonarpur, Bhangar and Canning. Kakdwip and Namkhana were the storm centres of the movement. The movement aimed at improving the share of the peasant engaged as sharecroppers. The prominent leaders of the movement were: Kansari Halder, Ashoke Bose and Rash Behari Ghosh. Peasant leaders like Gajen Malik, Manik Hazra, Jatin Maity, Bijoy Mondal and others rose to prominence. The movement continued till 1950, when the Bargadari Act was enacted. The Act recognised the right of the sharecropper to two-thirds of the produce when he provided the inputs.
During 1946-1950, the Tebhaga movement in several parts of the 24 Parganas district led to the enactment of the Bargadari Act. Although the Bargadari Act of 1950 recognised the rights of bargadars to a higher share of crops from the land that they tilled, it was not implemented. Large tracts, beyond the prescribed limit of land ceiling, remained with the rich landlords. In 1967, West Bengal witnessed peasant uprising, against non-implementation of land reforms legislation, starting from Kheadaha gram panchayat in Sonarpur CD Block. From 1977 onwards major land reforms took place in West Bengal under the Left Front government. Land in excess of land ceiling was acquired and distributed among the peasants. Subsequently, Operation Barga was aimed at securing tenancy rights for the peasants. In Kultali CD block 5,859.51 acres of land was acquired and vested. Out of this 5,621.97 acres or 95.95% of the vested land was distributed. The total number of patta (document) holders was 10,375.
Kultali CD block is located at. It has an average elevation of 7 metres (23 ft).
Kultali CD block is bounded by Jaynagar I and Canning I CD blocks in the north, Basanti CD block in a part of the east, Sundarbans forests in parts of the east and south, and Jaynagar II CD block in the west.
South 24 Parganas district is divided into two distinct physiographic zones: the marine-riverine delta in the north and the marine delta zone in the south. As the sea receded southwards, in the sub-recent geological period, a large low-lying plain got exposed. Both tidal inflows and the rivers have been depositing sediments in this plain. The periodical collapse of both the natural Levees and man-made embankments speed up the process of filling up of the depressions containing brackish water wetlands. The marine delta in the south is formed of interlacing tidal channels. As non-saline water for irrigation is scarce, agriculture is monsoon dominated. Some parts of the wetlands are still preserved for raising fish.
Kultali CD block has an area of 306.18 km2. It has 1 panchayat samity, 9 gram panchayats, 120 gram sansads (village councils), 46 mouzas and 43 inhabited villages, as per the District Statistical Handbook for South Twenty-four Parganas. Kultali and Maipit Coastal police stations serve this block.Headquarters of this CD block is at PO Jamtalahat - 743358.
Gram panchayats of Kultali CD block/panchayat samiti are: Deulbari, Gopalganj, Gurguria Bhubaneswari, Jalaberia I, Jalaberia II, Kundakhali Godabar, Maipith Baikunthapur, Meriganj I and Meriganj II.
The Sundarbans area, in the south of the district, includes 102 deltaic islands, out of which 54 are inhabited and the rest is reserved forest. The area spread over 54,000 km2 is home to 3.9 million people or around 40% of the population of the district. As per December 2001 census there were 271 Royal Bengal tigers and other animals in the Indian portion of the Sundarban forest, spread across 42,000 km2. The floor of the Sundarbans varies from 0.9 m to 2.11 m above sea level. Tidal saline water from the Bay of Bengal alternatively drowns and exposes the islands twice a day throughout the year. Around 3,500 km of earthen embankments, protecting the inhabited islands, have been facing the daily onslaught in a cyclone-prone area for more than a century.
Clearing of the forests effectively started in 1781 and in about a century Hingalganj, Hasnabad, Sandeshkhali I, Sandeshkhali II, Minakhan and Haroa CD blocks (all in North 24 Parganas district in 2016), Canning I, Canning II, Jaynagar II, Mathurapur I, Mathurapur II and Sagar CD blocks (all in South 24 Parganas district in 2016) had been fully or substantially cleared of forests. Thereafter, much of the interiors of Kakdwip, Patharpratima, Basanti, Kultali and Gosaba CD blocks were cleared for human settlement. People started moving into the area. The refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan were the last to come in large numbers between 1951 and 1971. Canning I, Canning II, Jaynagar II, Mathurapur I, Mathurapur II, Kakdwip and Namkhana CD blocks are a little away from the forests and being attached/ connected to the mainland. Their conditions are similar to other mainland CD Blocks in the district, but Basanti, Gosaba, Kultali, Patharpratima and Sagar CD blocks are largely isolated from the mainland. These islands are mostly separated from the deep forest by a river.
Electric connections are rare, and transport and communications, other than river transport, are not there. Around 95% people depend on rain-fed agriculture. Sagar CD block lies at the mouth of the Hooghly River, which carries fresh water and so things are a little different there. The sea level, around India, is estimated to be rising at 2.55 mm per year. In the last 70 years, 220 km2 of forest land has been submerged and the process continues.
Kultali CD block has 191.561 km of embankments. Breaches in these embankments varied from 5 km in 2003-04 to 23.4 km in 2006-07. Embankments raised along rivers are of critical importance for the safety of lives and protection of crops, against daily tides and tidal surges. Technologically the embankment structures are weak and there is need of proper drainage of accumulated rain water through sluice gates. Crude cuts in embankments for drainage of accumulated rain water and channels built for providing water to large fisheries (bheris) also add to the hazards. Cyclones and tropical depressions are regular threats.
As per the 2011 Census of India, Kultali CD block had a total population of 229,053, all of which were rural. There were 117,562 (51%) males and 111,491 (49%) females. Population below 6 years was 35,727. Scheduled Castes numbered 104,193 (45.49%) and Scheduled Tribes numbered 5,672 (2.48%).
As per the 2001 Census of India, Kultali CD block had a total population of 187,942, out of which 97,272 were males and 90,670 were females. Kultali CD block registered a population growth of 20.13 per cent during the 1991-2001 decade. Decadal growth for South 24 Parganas district was 20.89 per cent. Decadal growth in West Bengal was 17.84 per cent. Scheduled Castes at 89,102 formed around one-half the population. Scheduled Tribes numbered 6,648.
Large villages (with 4,000+ population) in Kultali CD block (2011 census figures in brackets): Meriganj (22,225), Kailashnagar (5,083), Purba Tetulberia (4,309), Dongajora (10,271), Kirtankhola (5,312), Godabar (4,361), Jalaberia (20,138), Korakhali (4,188), Jamtala (4,495), Paschim Gabtala (4,387), Madhabpur (4,725), Madhusudanpur (6,899), Dakshin Garankati (6,189), Gopalganj (7,853), Kaikhali (6,030), Sankizahan (8,811), Katamari (5,238), Dakshin Durgapur (5,346), Deulbari Debipur (7,315), Purba Gurguria (5,662), Madhya Gurguria (4,669), Debipur Gurguria (10,812), Bhubaneswari (6,936), Maipit (5,615), Binodpur (5,330), Baikuntapur (7,802) and Kishorimohanpur (6,483).
Other villages in Kultali CD block include (2011 census figures in brackets): Kundakhali (3,307).
As per the 2011 census, the total number of literates in Kultali CD block was 134,101 (69.37% of the population over 6 years) out of which males numbered 78,601 (79.01% of the male population over 6 years) and females numbered 55,500 (59.14% of the female population over 6 years). The gender disparity (the difference between female and male literacy rates) was 19.86%. Kultali CD block had the lowest female literacy and highest gender disparity amongst all CD blocks of South 24 Parganas district.
As per the 2001 Census of India, Kultali CD block had a total literacy of 60.09 per cent for the 6+ age group. While male literacy was 74.45 per cent female literacy was 44.58 per cent. South 24 Parganas district had a total literacy of 69.45 per cent, male literacy being 79.19 per cent and female literacy being 59.01 per cent.
|Literacy in CD Blocks of|
South 24 Parganas district
|Alipore Sadar subdivision|
|Bishnupur I – 78.33%|
|Bishnupur II – 81.37%|
|Budge Budge I – 80.57%|
|Budge Budge II – 79.13%|
|Thakurpukur Maheshtala – 83.54%|
|Baruipur – 76.46%|
|Bhangar I – 72.06%|
|Bhangar II – 74.49%|
|Jaynagar I – 73.17%|
|Jaynagar II – 69.71%|
|Kultali – 69.37%|
|Sonarpur – 79.70%|
|Basanti – 68.32%|
|Canning I – 70.76%|
|Canning II – 66.51%|
|Gosaba – 78.98%|
|Diamond Harbour subdivision|
|Diamond Harbour I – 75.72%|
|Diamond Harbour II – 76.91%|
|Falta – 77.17%|
|Kulpi – 75.49%|
|Magrahat I – 73.82%|
|Magrahat II – 77.41%|
|Mandirbazar – 75.89%|
|Mathurapur I – 73.93%|
|Mathurapur II – 77.77%|
|Kakdwip – 77.93%|
|Namkhana – 85.72|
|Patharpratima – 82.11%|
|Sagar – 84.21%|
|Source: 2011 Census: CD Block Wise|
Primary Census Abstract Data
In the 2001 census, Bengali was the mother tongue for 97.9% of the population of the district, followed by Hindi with 1.5%, Urdu 0.3%, Odia and Telugu (0.1% each).
The West Bengal Official Language (Second Amendment) Bill, 2012, included Hindi, Santhali, Odiya and Punjabi as official languages if it is spoken by a population exceeding 10 per cent of the whole in a particular block or sub-division or a district. Subsequently, Kamtapuri, Rajbanshi and Kurmali were also included in the list of minority languages by the West Bengal Official Language (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018.However, as of 2019, there is no official / other reliable information about the areas covered.
In the 2011 Census of India, Hindus numbered 159,897 and formed 69.81% of the population in Kultali CD block. Muslims numbered 68,385 and formed 29.86% of the population. Others numbered 771 and formed 0.33% of the population.
The proportion of Hindus in South Twenty-four Parganas district has declined from 76.0% in 1961 to 63.2% in 2011. The proportion of Muslims in South Twenty-four Parganas district has increased from 23.4% to 35.6% during the same period. Christians formed 0.8% in 2011.
As per the Human Development Report for South 24 Parganas district, published in 2009, in Kultali CD block the percentage of households below poverty line was 46.36%. The poverty rates were very high in the Sundarban region with all thirteen CD blocks registering poverty ratios above 30% and eight CD blocks had more than 40% of the population in the BPL category. The Sundarban region remains the most backward region in terms of quality of life. As per rural household survey in 2005, the proportion of households in South 24 Parganas with poverty rates below poverty line was 34.11%, way above the state and national poverty ratios.
In Kultali CD block in 2011, among the class of total workers, cultivators numbered 18,079 and formed 20.62%, agricultural labourers numbered 40,177 and formed 45.83%, household industry workers numbered 8,689 and formed 9.91% and other workers numbered 20,725 and formed 23.64%.Total workers numbered 87,670 and formed 38.27% of the total population, and non-workers numbered 141,383 and formed 61.73% of the population.
The District Human Development Report points out that in the blocks of region situated in the close proximity of the Kolkata metropolis, overwhelming majority are involved in the non-agricultural sector for their livelihood. On the other hand, in the Sundarban region, overwhelming majority are dependent on agriculture. In the intermediate region, there is again predominance of the non-agricultural sector. Though the region is not very close to Kolkata, many places are well connected and some industrial/ economic development has taken place.
Note: In the census records a person is considered a cultivator, if the person is engaged in cultivation/ supervision of land owned by self/government/institution. When a person who works on another person's land for wages in cash or kind or share, is regarded as an agricultural labourer. Household industry is defined as an industry conducted by one or more members of the family within the household or village, and one that does not qualify for registration as a factory under the Factories Act. Other workers are persons engaged in some economic activity other than cultivators, agricultural labourers and household workers. It includes factory, mining, plantation, transport and office workers, those engaged in business and commerce, teachers, entertainment artistes and so on.
There are 43 inhabited villages in Kultali CD block, as per the District Census Handbook, South Twenty-four Parganas, 2011. 100% villages have power supply. 42 villages (97.67%) have drinking water supply. 21 villages (48.84%) have post offices. 34 villages (79.07%) have telephones (including landlines, public call offices and mobile phones). 19 villages (44.19%) have pucca (paved) approach roads and 20 villages (46.51%) have transport communication (includes bus service, rail facility and navigable waterways). 5 villages (11.63%) have agricultural credit societies and 8 villages (18.60%) have banks.
According to the District Human Development Report, agriculture is an important source of livelihood in South Twentyfour Parganas district. The amount of cultivable land per agricultural worker is only 0.41 hectare in the district. Moreover, the irrigation facilities have not been extended to a satisfactory scale. Agriculture mostly remains a mono-cropped activity.
As per the District Census Handbook, the saline soil of the district is unfit for cultivation, but the non-salty lands are very fertile. While rice is the main food crop, jute is the main cash crop.
In 2013–14, Kultali CD block produced 4.366 tonnes of Aman paddy, the main winter crop, from 2,749 hectares, 2,014 tonnes of Boro paddy (spring crop) from 752 hectares and 3,176 tonnes of potatoes from 168 hectares. It also produced pulses and oilseeds.
In Kultali CD block, in 2013-14, net area under effective pisciculture was 3,568 hectares, engaging 31,905 persons in the profession, and with an approximate annual production of 83,399 quintals.
Pisciculture is an important source of employment in South 24 Parganas district. As of 2001, more than 4.5 lakh people were engaged in Pisciculture. Out of this 2.57 lakhs were from the 13 blocks in the Sundarbans.
South 24 Parganas district is listed as a backward region and receives financial support from the Backward Regions Grant Fund. The fund, created by the Government of India, is designed to redress regional imbalances in development. As of 2012, 272 districts across the country were listed under this scheme. The list includes 11 districts of West Bengal.
Kultali CD block has 13 ferry services and 2 originating/ terminating bus routes. The nearest railway station is 21 km from the block headquarters.
In 2013-14, Kultali had 98 primary schools with 16,828 students, 9 middle schools with 2,012 students, 6 high schools with 5,005 students and 9 higher secondary schools with 10,074 students. Kultali CD block had 1 general degree college with 949 students, 410 institutions for special and non-formal education with 19,871 students.
See also – Education in India
As per the 2011 census, in Kultali CD block, amongst the 43 inhabited villages, 1 village did not have a school, 26 villages had two or more primary schools, 24 villages had at least 1 primary and 1 middle school and 16 villages had at least 1 middle and 1 secondary school.
In 2014, Kultali CD block had 1 rural hospital, 4 primary health centres and 2 NGO/ private nursing homes with total 62 beds and 10 doctors (excluding private bodies). It had 43 family welfare subcentres. 3,858 patients were treated indoor and 163,952 patients were treated outdoor in the hospitals, health centres and subcentres of the CD block.
As per 2011 census, in Kultali CD block, 4 villages had primary health centres, 26 villages had primary health subcentres, 1 village had a maternity and child welfare centre, 12 villages had medicine shops and out of the 43 inhabited villages 7 villages had no medical facilities.