- Santoshpur, Kolkata
Santoshpur is a suburban area in the southeastern part of
Kolkata, India. It is loosely bounded by Garfaarea on the north, the Eastern Metropolitan Bypasson the west and the Sealdah- Sonarpurrailway tracks on the east and the south.
This area was initially part of
Jadavpur. The area was comprised mainly of shallow marshy lands and agricultural fields even as late as the seventies. Some houses were built in the fifties and sixties mostly on the eastern side of the JadavpurRail Station. Residents walked to the station or to the JadavpurBus Stand to board Bus Routes 8B or 9. The seventies saw an uptick in the number of houses constructed and spread more to the east. It was common sight at this time to see agricultural fields, small dairy operations and residential houses coexist on the same street. The main Santoshpur Avenue, which started near the JadavpurRailway crossing, was metalled. Other streets were being built and were mostly unmetalled. The new residents would pitch in their money and arrange for truckloads of dirt to be dumped on the road to make them passable during the monsoon season.
With the coming of scheduled bus transport, Santoshpur started seeing faster growth. A shuttle bus service (Route 9A) started which connected the residents to
JadavpurBus Stand which was a little more than 2 km. away. It was quite common to spend half an hour on the bus to cover this distance mainly due to the narrow roads and the railway level crossing. Another bus route (Route 1A) started connecting Santoshpur to Garden Reach area in the southwestern part of Kolkata. The bus provided direct connection to Jadavpur, Lake Gardens, Tollygunge, Rashbehari, Kalighat, Hazra, Gopalnagar, Alipur Zoo, Khidirpurareas with convenient connections to virtually all areas of Kolkata. After some time, the Golparkto BBD Bag (Route 106) minibus route was extended to Santoshpur and provided direct connection to the central business district. Office workers could reach their offices in the B.B.D.Bag, Esplanade, Park Street, Camac Street, Theater Roadareas without changing buses. Within a few years, another bus route (Route 206) started operations to Babughatproviding cheaper alternative transportation to the office area.
Santoshpur started to grow faster and faster. Vacant lots were filling up fast. Agricultural lands were becoming scarce and could be found only on the other side of the Panchannagram canal (popularly called "khaal"). The cheaper land costs and proximity to the city proved to be an irresistible attraction for middle-class Bengalis. Government employees, bank employees, school teachers, college professors, and small businessmen started flocking to this new area.
In the meantime, the area which were under
Panchayats and saw little organized development morphed into the Jadavpur Municipality. The headquarters were established in the "Battala Bazar" area - which became the heart of the new area. A new permanent market was planned a few hundred metres east of the streetside market. With the incorporation of the municipality in Kolkata Municipal Corporationas part of Borough 12, Santoshpur was poised for a quantum leap.
The opening of the southern stretches of the
Eastern Metropolitan Bypassprovided the residents with the option to commute via either Jadavpur or the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. With the explosive population growth, traffic snarls became very common around the Jadavpurrailway crossing. A railway overbridge over JadavpurRailway Station was planned connecting Santoshpur Avenue with Raja Subodh Mullick Road, about half a kilometre to the south of the JadavpurBus Stand. The construction was completed in record time. The travel time fell dramatically. New bus routes were introduced and Santoshpur became a sought after place to live for the Bengali middle-class.
To accommodate this heavy demand, mid-rise apartment buildings started being built by real estate developers. Apartment complexes were also built in the erstwhile marshy lands on the
Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. As more people started streaming in, Santoshpur has been becoming more cosmopolitan.
From a sleepy outpost to a teeming urban neighbourhood, Santoshpur has come a long way. It now faces problems of overdevelopment. The water supply, sewage system, drainage channels, and streets were not designed for this level of growth. Waterlogging during monsoon is becoming common. The narrow streets meant for pedestrians and bicycles are being overburdened with cars,
rickshaws, autorickshaws. In the coming years, unplanned growth need to be reined in to prevent Santoshpur from becoming a victim of its own success.
Now(2008) Santoshpur changes its look and apears with more modern and decent look with a spectacular lake and an arambagh foodmart.
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