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Tripura

Tripura is the second smallest state in India. It was formally declared as Union Territory on November1st, 1957 and was elevated to the status of a full-fledged state on January 21,1972. Tripura is one of the seven states in the north eastern part of India located between 22 degree and 56 minutes and 24 degree and 32 minutes north latitude and between 90 degree and 09 minutes and 92 degree and 20 minutes east latitude. It is bounded on the north, west, south and south-east by Bangladesh whereas in the east it has a common boundary with Assam and Mizoram. There is a common belief that the name of the State has originated from "Tripura Sundari" - the presiding deity of the land which is famous as one of the 51 pethos of Hindu Pilgrims. Apart from this traditional view it is believed that originally the land was known as "Tuipra" meaning a land adjoining the water.


The state is covered by picturesque hills and dales, deep and green valleys which have added beauty to its landscape. The state is connected with the rest of India by only one road which runs through the hills to the border of Cachar district in Assam. The state has three districts with ten sub-divisions. The three districts are Tripura west with Agartala as its headquarter (which is also the state capital), Tripura north and Tripura south with Kailasahar and Udaipur respectively as district headquarters.

Hill Ranges

From the east the principal hill ranges are the Jampoi, Sakham Tlang, Langtarai, Athara Mura and Bara Mura. The highest peak of the state is Be-talang-Shiv (3,200 ft) in the Jampoi hill range. A number of broad and elongated valleys - Agartala - Udaipur - Sabrum, Khowai - Teliamura - Amarpur - Silachari etc are located between the north-south trending, parallel to sub-parallel high ranges (topographic highs) such as the Baramura - Deotamura ranges, Atharamura ranges, Langtari ranges, Sakham ranges and the Jampui hill ranges.

Soils

The soil in the valley is fertile with rich alluvial deposits and therefore suitable for the cultivation of paddy, jute, oilseeds, pulses, fruits and vegetables. About 54.5% of the land is under forest. Only about 24.3% area is available for agricultural use.

Rivers

The Khowati, the Manu, the Haorah, the Muhuri and the Gomati are some important rivers of Tripura. Gomati is the largest river. Like the Ganges in North India, the Gomati is considered to be the most sacred of all the rivers in Tripura. The source of the river is taken to be Tirthamukh where lies the beautiful Dumbar falls - one of the most important holy places. The rivers Khowai, Doloi, Manu, Juri and Langai are flowing towards the north and those flowing towards west are the Gomati, Muhuri and Feni.

Agriculture

The chief occupation of the population in the state is agriculture. The main activity of more than three-fourths of the workers is agriculture. About 24.3% area is available for agriculture use. The principal crops are paddy, wheat, jute, sugar cane, potato, turmeric, coconut and oil seeds. Agriculture is being practiced in about 2.5 lakh hectares.

Stress on agricultural development during the last decades was given for the increase in production of food grains. By providing essential inputs in the form of improved seeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals and by increasing substantially the area of cultivation under HYV programme, it has been possible for the state to raise production of food grains.

Significant steps have been taken to bring larger and larger areas under the plant protection scheme. It is irrigation, the one input which can do a lot for diversification, multiple cropping and increasing yield of crops. But the progress on this front has not been satisfactory. Another important input is seed. Initially the state government faced considerable difficulties in bringing seed from outside the state due to high cost. But now, large-sized seed multiplication firms have been set up. Besides, a seed bank is operating. Large scale demonstration programmes are taken up covering all the branches with a view to transmitting scientific and progressive technology in the field of agriculture.

Promotion of soil and economic equality is a pre-condition for attaining substantial long-term increase in production. Measures to reduce inequalities should succeed in eliminating deterrents to work and aggregate labour utilization. But, the success mainly depends on the political climate.

The major thrust in land reforms is centred round the protection of interest of the tribals on land and restoration of alienated land to them. In September 1989 Tripura legislative Assembly passed a Bill relating to land revenue and land reforms, the important-provision of which are as follows.

  1. No land belonging to tribals can be sold to a non-tribal. Even a decree by a court of law will not entitle a non-tribal to take possession of tribal land.
  2. Land sold or transferred from a tribal to a non-tribal on or after 1st Jan 1969 will not be considered valid.
  3. No court of law will be able to pass a decree transferring the title of a tribal land to a non-tribal.

Industry

Industries - small, medium and large - were conspicuous by their absence in Tripura till about 1950. The almost isolated geographical location of the state and lack of power and communication facilities have proved to be the major handicap for the development of industries in the state.

Tripura's handicrafts in structure, beauty and variety is of great demand outside. Tripura Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd has taken up marketing of the handicrafts in a big way and is exploring the possibilities of exporting its products. For improving the design and quality of the products the All- India Handicraft Board has set up a research unit at Agartala. About 5000 craftsmen are now engaged in production of handicrafts (mainly cane and bamboo) products.

Handloom weaving is the single largest industry. It is essentially a tribal household industry. Another age-old industry of the state is silk. This industry is now confined to one small village in the suburb of Agartala town. The Seri culture industry is developing fast. During the reign of Maharaja Birendrakishore Manikya (1909-23), a school was opened at Agartala for giving training in Seri-cultural weaving. The area under mulberry cultivation is about 500 hectares and production of cocoon is estimated to be 5000 Kg per year. Besides loin looms occupy the pride of place in the local industry of Tripura.

A jute mill set up in Agartala under public sector produces about 20 tonnes of jute products per day and employs about 2000 persons.

Tripura is abundant in natural gas and a number of gas-based industries have sprung up. Foundation has been laid for a Rs.126 crore methanol project of the state owned Tripura petro-chemicals Ltd. There are 809 small scale industrial units in Tripura.

In recent years the government has taken significant steps to educate the rural people in the technique of the industry so that the industry could be of real benefit to the rural people. The North-Eastern council (NEC) has come forward for providing financial and other help for developing the industry.

In order to provide common facilities and services to the entrepreneurs, the state government is running 5 industrial estates. One each at Arundhutinagar, Dhwajanagar, Dhukli, Kumarghat and Dharmanagar. Besides the state has three industrial centres viz. Udaipur in south Tripura, Kailashahar in north and one at Agartala.

In order to co-ordinate the activities the state administration had also set up separate corporations/ councils for handlooms, small industries, tea development and village and cottage industries. The department of industries also runs 4 industrial centres - two at Indranagar, one each at Jatanbari and Kailashahar; three industrial development centres viz. at Malaynagar and Takmacherra in West Tripura district and Uttakhali in North Tripura district.

Mineral Resources

The most important mineral potential possibility of Tripura is oil and natural gas. There were several gas seepages near Ampi Bazar, Saikhanbari headwaters of the Channel, Chara stream and about 2 Km. W.N.W of Kaphelapa village.

The other minerals are:

Glass Sand: Deposits of white sand with an average silica content above 98% and suitable for the manufacture at ordinary coloured glassware's occur along the bank of Bijainadi stream in Bisramganj with an estimated reserve of 1,60,000 tonnes, near old Agartala with an estimated reserve of 50,000 tonnes, and at Purba and Paschim Champamura.

A glass factory was set up at Arundhutinagar near Agartala with a capacity of 2 tonnes of glassware per day. Sand deposits located at Agartala may meet the demand of raw material for the production of soda ash for use in the soap factory.

Clay: White plastic clay suitable for the manufacture of coloured ceramic products occur at several places near Agartala, Dharmanagar and Bisramganj areas. Small deposits have been reported from the Teliamura - Ampi Bazar road cutting and near Khowai and Jogindernagar.

Grey plastic clay has been located on the hill-sides near Paschim Champamura with a reserve of 914 tonnes, in Ranir Bazar with a reserve of 20,000 tonnes, at Sekerkot with an estimated reserve of 60,800 tonnes. Grey and white plastic clay occur at Tarkarjala village, Mohanpur and Latiachara areas.

Lignite: Small occurrences of pyritiferous non-cacing variety of lignite occur in the rocks on the western flank of Unkoti kolangshi hill, north of Kumarghat, at Betaga and Sabrum.

Limestone: Sporadic occurences of occasionally fossiliferous siliceous limestone have been reported from the Sakhan and Jampui ranges.

B>Building material: The shale deposits in the Atharamura range can be used for the manufacture of clay-cement-nodules to be used as road metal.

The lateritised conglomerate moorum with quartz pebble is being extensively quarried for road metal. Grey-coloured, tough calcareous sandstone found in Gagrachara can be used as road metal.

Hydro Potential:

The Geological Survey of India is actively collaborating with the state government for the construction of the Manu Earth Dam which is proposed to be constructed at the upper reaches of the Manu river, for flood control and irrigation.

A gravity type of brick and stone concrete dam with a reservoir at the upper reaches of the Gomati river has been constructed for the generation of hydel power from two generators each having a 5 MW capacity. The Geological Survey of India was actively associated with the construction of the hydel project.

There is a proposal for construction of a dam in the upper reaches of the Khowai river to control seasonal floods and improve irrigation.

Climate

The climate of the state is generally hot and humid. The average maximum temperature is 35oC in May-June and the average minimum temperature is 10.5oC in December-January. The average rainfall is around 230cm/annum. The monsoon starts generally in April and continues upto September. Summer starts in March and continues upto May and is followed by rainy season extending over about three-four months (May-August). The pleasant season lasts only for about two months (September and October). Then follows winter which continues up to February.

Tripura District at a glance :
Location:
North Latitude D 22o56' & 24 o32'
East Latitude D 91 o09' & 92 o20'
Extreme Length Kms. 183.5
Extreme Width Kms. 112.7
Border with Bangladesh Kms. 839
Border with Mizoram Kms. 109
Border with Assam Kms. 53
Altitude(Agartala) Mtr. 12.80
Climate (1998) :
Climate (1998) : Max.
Min.
36.2C
20.5C
Winter - January Max.
Min.
27.1C
07.0C
Rainfall Cm. 234.4
Highest Rainfall (Sabroom) Cm. 348.4
Lowest Rainfall (Kailashahar) Cm. 174.8
No. of Rainy Days Nos. 92
Area(Provisional) Sq. Km. 10491'69
Population
Year 1998 (Estimated Figures) 35,82,000
Total Population (1991 Census) 27,57,205
Rural 23,35,484
Urban 4,21,721
Male 14,17,930
Female 13,39,275
Literacy 60.44 (S.T. 40.37%).
Administrative set up(1998-99) :
Districts Nos. 4
Sub-Divisions Nos. 15
R.D. Block Nos. 38
Revenue Circle Nos. 31
Tehsil Nos. 183
Revenue Moujas Nos. 874
Town/Census Town/Notified Areas Nos. 18
Gram Panchayat Nos. 962
Police Station Nos. 45
M.L.A. of Tripura Nos. 60
Member of A.D.C. Nos. 28
M.P. (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha) Nos. 3
Information regarding Elected Panchayats :
Gram Panchayat (1994) (Except-ADC) Nos. 525
Elected Member of Gram Panchayat Nos. 5421
Panchayat Samity Nos. 16
Elected Member of Panchayat Samity Nos. 196
Zilla Parishad Nos. 3
Elected member of Zilla Parisad Nos. 70
Classification of Workers (as per 1991 Census):
Cultivators Nos. 3,05,523
Agriculture laboures Nos. 1,87,538
Household Servicing & Repairing Nos. 39,627
Other Workers Nos. 1,52,892
Marginal Workers Nos. 56,454
Land Holdings
No. of Operational Holding(1990-91 Agri. Census) Nos.
Hect.
3,18,212
0.97
Average size of operational Holding(1990-91 Agri. Census) Nos. 8094
Land allotted to landless families(1998-99) Acre.
Nos.
8727.08
1712
Land allotted to homeless families(1998-99) Acre
Nos.
300.09
4341
Land allotted to both landless & Homeless families(1998-99) Acre 5374.79
State Domestic Product(SDP) [1998-99, Advance]
At Current prices (GSDP) Rs. 231980 lakhs
At Constant Prices (1980-81) (GSDP) Rs. 84572 lakhs
At Current Prices (NSDP) Rs. 203848 lakhs
At Constant Prices (1980-81) (NSDP) Rs. 78485 lakhs
Per Capita State Income :
At Current Prices Rs. 6200
At constant prices (1980-81) Rs. 2387
Land Utilisation (1998-99)
Geographical Area Hect. 10,49,169
Net Area sown Hect. 281000
Forest Hect. 6,06,168
Others Hect. 162001
Area sown More than once Hect. 207000
Area Irrigated(1998-99) Hect. 58910
Agriculture Production (1998-99)
Rice M.T. 490110
Sugar Cane M.T. 42950
Cotton (170 kg each) Bale 760
Jute (180 kg each) Bale 10000
Mesta (180 kg each) Bale 15250
Total pulses M.T. 1810
Total Oil Seed M.T. 3980
Potato M.T. 82000