Burrabazar (also spelt Bara Bazar) is a neighbourhood of Central-North Kolkata, in Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Burrabazar
Barabazar
Neighbourhood in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Maharshi Devendra Road
Maharshi Devendra Road
Nickname(s): 
Burrabazar
Burrabazar is located in Kolkata
Burrabazar
Burrabazar
Location in Kolkata
Coordinates: 22°34′55″N 88°21′07″E / 22.582°N 88.352°E / 22.582; 88.352Coordinates: 22°34′55″N 88°21′07″E / 22.582°N 88.352°E / 22.582; 88.352
Country India
StateWest Bengal
CityKolkata
DistrictKolkata
KMC wards41, 42, 43, 44, 45
Metro StationMG Road and Mahakaran(under construction)
Kolkata Circular RailwayBurrabazar
Government
 • MLASmita Bakshi
Elevation
11 m (36 ft)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
700001, 700007
Area code(s)+91 33
Lok Sabha constituencyKolkata Uttar
Vidhan Sabha constituencyJorasanko and Chowrangee

Bazar KolkataEdit

 
A view of Burrabazar and Mahatma Gandhi Road (formerly Harrison Road) in Kolkata.

In between Sutanuti haat made way for Bazar Kolkata, some time in the 18th century. The market was spread over nearly 500 bighas and the residential area covered another 400 bighas. Apart from the Seths and Basaks, there were the gold merchants Mullicks and other men of their calibre. Their affluence and pomp are legends even in their days.[1] There also were merchants of comparatively lesser affluence. As for example, the area around what is now Kalakar Street was known as Dhakapattys, as it was home to the Sahas, cloth merchants from Dhaka. The Sheths and Basaks had close links with such cloth producing centres as Dhaka, Murshidabad and Cossimbazar.

Police section houseEdit

In 1888, one of the 25 newly organized police section houses was located in Burrabazar.[2]

GeographyEdit

Police districtEdit

Burrabazar police station is part of the Central division of Kolkata Police. It is located at 8, Mullick Street, Kolkata-700007.[3]

Taltala Women police station covers all police districts under the jurisdiction of the Central division i.e. Bowbazar, Burrabazar, Girish Park, Hare Street, Jorasanko, Muchipara, New Market, Taltala and Posta.[3]

AdministrationEdit

 
Rabindra Sarani is considered as an extension of Burrabazar

With crime a major problem in Burrabazar till 2008, the police station[4] had a rough time.[5]

More than 50,000 merchants from across the country have been attracted to Burrabazar because of the immense business opportunities but musclemen have followed them to the trade hub. From providing protection to businessmen and transporting their black money to running a satta (form of betting) racket and settling property and payment disputes, these men, mostly from the neighbouring states, start off as confidantes of the trading community. In a few years, they break free and form their own gangs to extort money and engage in other forms of criminal activities.[6]

Even small traders coming to Burrabazar face problems, but of a different sort. More than 1,000 cyclists cross Howrah Bridge everyday to make purchases at Burrabazar. Most of these are small traders, from across the Hooghly River and they carry back goods for sale in their localities. Such people are regularly harassed by policemen on duty and let off against small payments.[7]

TrafficEdit

 
Brabourne Road Flyover, Burrabazar

Traffic in the area, including the approach road to Howrah Bridge, has been a long-standing problem for people passing through the area. Pedestrians are forced to walk on roads along with vehicles. While lorries, taxis, vans and three-wheel goods carriers crowd the main roads, slow-moving vehicles like cycle-vans and carts clog the side-streets. A large number of governmental public buses and private buses ply through Burrabazar. Kolkata tram route no. 18 serves Burrabazar (via MG Road).[8] Braborne Road Flyover (1.2 km stretch) connects Howrah Bridge with Braborne Road in Burrabazar.[9]

Unsafe buildingsEdit

On 31 March 2016, a flyover on Vivekananda Road near Burrabazar collapsed, killing 22 people and injuring many more.[10]

Fire hazardsEdit

Along with buildings in danger of collapsing, the fire services department has fixed its gaze on structures in Burrabazar that can catch fire any moment because of faulty wiring. According to fire service officials, most of the 50-odd fires that broke out in the trade hub in 2005 were caused by short circuits, a consequence of faulty connections. At least 500 buildings in Burrabazar can be described as fire hazards. A disaster can strike any day. There are numerous building with hundreds of temporary electrical connections. Most tenants have drawn up temporary connections, ignoring all rules. These illegal and haphazard connections often lead to short circuits and fire.[11]

According to fire brigade officials, "It is generally believed that there are more fires during Kali puja. However, the number of fires during pujas has gone down considerably in recent times due to imposition of the fire-safety norms.[12] There used to be around 15 fires during Durga puja and over 100 fires during Kali puja. In 2005, there was only one fire during Durga puja and no fires at all during Kali puja".[13]

In January 2008, fire ravaged Nandram market in Burrabazar for nearly a week. More than 1,200 shops went up in flames. Three hundred fire fighters and 54 fire tenders were sent to fight the fire. More than 1,000 people, who live in neighbouring residential apartments, were evacuated. Traffic in the area was thrown out of gear.[14][15]

Fires are regular features in Burrabazar. In January 2000, rows of shops were gutted at Manohar Das Katra. In December 2002, there was fire in the wholesale market of woollen goods. In April 2003, fire struck Satyanarayan Park AC market. In September 2004 there was fire in a sari shop in Hari Ram Goenka Street. In July 2005, there was fire at a hosiery warehouse, off Kalakar Street. In September 2005, there was fire in a Jackson Lane warehouse filled with plastic and paper. In March 2006, there was fire in a bank on Ezra Street.[16]

A fire devastated the five floors of Bagree Market in September 2018, affecting some 500 traders, who lost 2-5 billion rupees, and about 3,000 staff.[12] The All India Federation of Tax Practitioners organised a free helpline for the traders who lost their documents and found it difficult to prepare their accounts.[17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

[1]

  1. ^ "Burrabazar". Catchcal.com. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  2. ^ Nair, P.Thankappan, The Growth and Development of Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. I, pp. 18-19, Edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, 1995 edition.
  3. ^ a b "Kolkata Police". Central Division. KP. Archived from the original on 10 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Bowbazar Police Station". Kolkata Police. Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  5. ^ "Five on loot spree in Burrabazar flat". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 4 January 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  6. ^ Siddiqui, Imran Ahmed (8 February 2007). "Crime shadow on trade hub – Musclemen from neighbouring states run extortion, robbery & gambling rackets in Burrabazar". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  7. ^ "Rights rap & probe – Traders blow the whistle on cop coercion". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 26 January 2005. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  8. ^ Gomes, Julius (15 February 2005). "Traffic trouble at business hub – Burrabazar traders complain of administratirve apathy". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  9. ^ "Braborne Road Flyover".
  10. ^ "22 killed, scores trapped, after Kolkata flyover comes crashing down". Hindustan Times. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Trade hub houses wired for fire". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 6 March 2006. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  12. ^ a b "Ahead of Durga Puja, Bagree Market traders stare at gloom as fire guts biz". Business Standard. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Pandal blazes on the wane". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  14. ^ "4,000 shops gutted in Kolkata fire". Hindustan times, 12 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Over 2, 500 shops gutted in central Kolkata fire". Outlook, 12 January 2008. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  16. ^ Roy, Subhajoy (20 January 2008). "We didn't start the fire". The Telegraph. With inputs from Deepankar Ganguly. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  17. ^ "Bravehearts who fought blaze". Telegraph India. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.

External linksEdit