Sitakunda Upazila


Sitakunda Upazila

Infobox of upazilas
native_name = Sitakunda
locator_position = right
latd = 22.6167
longd = 91.6611
division_name = Chittagong Division
district = Chittagong District
population_as_of = 1991
population_total = 274903
population_density = 568
area_total = 483.97
area_telephone = 3028
postal_code = 4310
maplink = www.bangladesh.gov.bd/maps/images/chittagong/Sitakunda.gif
maplink_caption = Official Map of Sitakunda
footnotes =

Sitakunda ( _bn. সীতাকুণ্ড "Shitakunḍo" IPA: IPA|/ʃit̪akunɖo/) is an upazila, or administrative unit, in the Chittagong District of Bangladesh. Sitakunda is one of the oldest sites of human habitation in Bangladesh. It is also the home of the country's first eco-park, as well as alternative energy projects, specifically wind energy and geothermal power. The legends of the area state the sage Bhargava created a pond ("kunda") for Sita Devi to bathe in when her husband Lord Ramchandra visited during his exile in the forests. Sitakunda derived its name from this incident.cite news
last = Dev
first = Prem Ranjan
coauthors =
title =
work =
pages = Point Counter-Point
language =
publisher = The Daily Star
date = 2007-02-17
url = http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/02/17/d702171503122.htm
accessdate = 2007-12-31
] [cite book
title = Minorities in Pakistan
publisher = Pakistan Publications
date = 1964
location = Karachi
pages = 20
]

For much of its history, Sitakunda was ruled alternatively by various Buddhist rulers of Myanmar in the east and Muslims rulers of Bengal in the west. For a brief period in the 8th century, it was ruled by the Buddhist Pala Empire of India. The eastern rulers originated from the Kingdom of Arakan, the Mrauk U dynasty, Arakanese pirates and the Pagan Kingdom. The western rulers came from the Sultanate of Bengal and Mughal state of Suba Bangala. European rule of Sitakunda was heralded by Portuguese privateers in 16th and 17th centuries, who ruled together with the pirates, and the British Raj in 18th and 19th centuries, who unified Sitakunda into the rest of the Chittagong District.

Economic development in Sitakunda is largely driven by the Dhaka–Chittagong Highway and the railway. Though Sitakunda is predominantly an agricultural area, it also has the largest ship breaking industry in the world. The industry has been accused of neglecting workers' rights, especially concerning work safety practices and child labor. It has also been accused of harming the environment, particularly by causing soil contamination. Sitakunda's ecosystems are further threatened by deforestation, over-fishing, and groundwater contamination. The upazila is also susceptible to natural hazards such as earthquakes, cyclones, and storm surges. It lies on one of the most active seismic faults in Bangladesh, the Sitakunda–Teknaf fault.

Sitakunda is renowned for its numerous Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist shrines. It has 280 mosques, 8 mazars, 49 Hindu temples, 3 ashrams, and 3 Buddhist temples. Among its notable temples are the Chandranath Temple (a "Shakti Peetha" or holy pilgrimage site), Vidarshanaram Vihara (founded by the scholar Prajnalok Mahasthavir), and the Hammadyar Mosque (founded by Sultan Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah). These pilgrimage sites along with the hill range and the eco-park are the attractions of Sitakunda as a tourist destination. Despite its diverse population, the area has seen communal strife, including attacks on places of worship. There have been reports of activity by the Islamic militant group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh since the early 2000s. [http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/bangladesh/terroristoutfits/JMB.htm Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB): Incidents] , South Asia Terrorism Portal; Retrieved: 2007-09-06] Staff Reporter (2007-03-31), " [http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/03/31/d7033101044.htm The deadly terror outfit, rise of its kingpins] ". "The Daily Star". Retrieved on 2007-09-06.]

Sitakunda includes one urban settlement, the Sitakunda Town, and 10 unions, the lowest of administrative units in Bangladesh. It is one of the 14 upazilas, the second tier of administrative units, of the Chittagong District, which also includes 12 thanas, the urban equivalent of upazilas. The district is part of the Chittagong Division, the highest order of administrative units in Bangladesh.

History

Sitakunda has been occupied by humans since the Neolithic era; tools associated with the prehistoric Assam group have been found throughout the area. [http://inic.utexas.edu/asnic/countries/bangla/bangladeshm.html Bangladesh: The Roots] , Bangladesh WWW Virtual Library, Asian Studies Network Information Center, International Information Systems, University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved on 2007-08-27.] In 1886, shouldered celts manufactured from petrified wood were discovered, as reported by Indian archaeologist Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay in his book "Banglar Itihas", or "History of Bengal", (volume I, 1914).Citation
last = Ahsan
first = Syed Mohammad Kamrul
contribution = Prehistory
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/P_0259.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] [Bandopadhyay, Rakhaldas (1971), "Banglar Itihas" (History of Bengal, annotated reprint). Kolkata: Naba Bharat Publishers, appendix.] In 1917, British mineralogist Dr. J. Coggin Brown uncovered more prehistoric celts. [Brown, J. Coggin; ed. John Hubert Marshall (1988). "Prehistoric antiquities of India preserved in the Indian museum at Calcutta". New Delhi, India: Cosmo Publications.] Large quantities of pebbles have also been found, but archaeologists have not determined whether they were used in the construction of prehistoric tools.

During the 6th and 7th centuries CE, the Chittagong region was ruled by the Kingdom of Arakan.Citation
last = Harun
first = Jasim Uddin
contribution = Chittagong District
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/C_0212.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] In the next century, it was briefly ruled by Dharmapala (reign: 770–810) of the Pala Empire. [http://www.cpa.gov.bd/history.html Chittagong through the ages] , Chittagong Port Authority. Retrieved on 2008-03-03.] The area was conquered in 1340 by Sultan Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah (reign: 1338–1349) of Sonargaon, who founded the first dynasty of the Sultanate of Bengal. When Sultan Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah (reign: 1533–1538) of the last dynasty of the Sultanate of Bengal was defeated in 1538 by Sher Shah Suri of the Sur Dynasty, the Arakanese captured the region again. Batsauphyu (reign: 1459–1482) of the Mrauk U dynasty took advantage of the weakness of Sultan Barbak Shah of Bengal to lead the invasion.Citation
last = Khan
first = Sadat Ullah
contribution = Arakan
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/A_0285.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] In this period, Keyakchu (or "Chandrajyoti"), a prince of Arakan, established a monastery in Sitakunda. [Citation
last = Barua
first = Rebatapriya
contribution = Ramkot Banashram
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/R_0103.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] [Dr. Sitangshu Bikash Barua, " [http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/bangladesh-txt.htm Buddhism in Bangladesh] ". BuddhaNet, Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.] Between 1538 and 1666, Portuguese privateers (known as "Firinghis" or "Harmads") made inroads into Chittagong and ruled the region in alliance with Arakanese pirates. During those 128 years, the eastern coast of Bengal became a home to pirates of Portuguese and Arakanese origins. [Citation
last = Karim
first = KM
contribution = Shahjahan
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/S_0271.htm
accessdate = 2008-03-01
] For a brief period in 1550, it was taken over by Pagan invaders. [Yust, Walter, ed. (1952), "Encyclopaedia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge", vol. 4, p. 427, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. ISBN 8352450959.] In 1666, Mughal commander Bujurg Umed Khan conquered the area. Along with the rest of Bengal, Sitakunda came under the rule of the British East India Company after the company's defeat of the Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Rapid growth in the Bengali population since then resulted in an exodus of non-Bengali people from Sitakunda and its vicinity to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. [Khan, Shafiqur Rahman (2003), [http://www.jur.lu.se/Internet/english/essay/Masterth.nsf/0/9E1E3437C900AFB0C1256D5D0040DDFF/$File/xsmall.pdf Indigenous Peoples’ In Bangladesh: Land Rights and Land Use In The Context of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT)] (PDF), Jusridiska Fakulteten. Retrieved on 2008-05-12.] [Van Schendel, Willem (1798), Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal. Dhaka: University Press Limited, (Reprinted 1992).] During the "Ardhodaya Yog" movement, a part of the Swadeshi Indian independence movement, the governance of Sitakunda was briefly in the hands of Indian nationalists when, in February 1908, they took over the central government in Kolkata. ["Bande Mataram" (March 1908), page 7. (Ref: INRB, IOR/L/R/5/33).] [Prescot, Rupert [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/history/studentlife/e-journal/Prescot_Rupert.pdf Sedition and political control: The ideological paradox of British responses to Indian nationalism] (PDF). Retrieved on 2008-05-12.] In 1910, Indian Petroleum Prospecting Company drilled here for hydrocarbon exploration, the first such activity in East Bengal. In 1914, the first onshore wildcat well in Bangladesh was drilled at Sitakunda anticline to a depth of convert|762|m|ft. [Citation
last = Ahmed
first = Kazi Matin Uddin
contribution = Wildcat Well
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/W_0061.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] By 1914, however, all four of the wells drilled had proven to be failures. [Citation
last = Imam
first = Badrul
contribution = Hydrocarbon Exploration
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/H_0211.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
]

After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British colonial government (British Raj) replaced the governance of the East India Company. When the British withdrew in 1947, after creating the independent states of India and Pakistan, Sitakunda became a part of East Pakistan. The first potential for a ship breaking industry appeared in 1964 when Chittagong Steel House started scrapping "MD Alpince", a convert|20000|MT|LT|0 Greek ship that had been accidentally beached near Fouzdarhat by a tidal bore four years earlier.Dr. Md. M. Maruf Hossain; Mohammad Mahmudul Islam (July 2006), " [http://ypsa.org/publications/Impact.pdf Ship Breaking Activities and its Impact on the Coastal Zone of Chittagong, Bangladesh: Towards Sustainable Management] " (PDF). Advocacy & Publication Unit, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA). ISBN 984-32-3448-0. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.] [http://www.bangladeshnews.com.bd/2006/07/31/sea-polluted-under-authorities-nose/ Sea polluted under authorities’ nose] , Bangladesh News, 2007-07-31; Retrieved: 2007-08-27] " [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/11/03/60minutes/main2149023.shtml The Ship Breakers Of Bangladesh] ". "60 minutes", CBS News, 2006-11-05, Retrieved on 2007-11-05.] During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, Sitakunda was part of Sector 2, led by Ziaur Rahman and Rafiqul Islam of the Mukti Bahini, the forces fighting for the independence of Bangladesh. The ship breaking industry began in earnest in 1974 when Karnafully Metal Works started scrapping "Al Abbas", a Pakistani ship damaged in 1971. The industry flourished in the 1980s. [http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=36512 Shipbreaking threatens environment along Ctg coastal areas] ". Dhaka: "The Daily Independent",, 2007-08-24; Retrieved on 2007-08-24.] As of 2007, Sitakunda had overtaken the ship breaking industries of India and Pakistan to become the largest in the world.Aslam, Syed M. (2001-04-23), " [http://www.pakistaneconomist.com/issue2001/issue17/i&e1.htm Ship-breaking industry: Uncertain future] ". "Pakistan Economist". Retrieved on 2007-08-24.] [http://web.archive.org/web/20050222014325/http://timesb2b.com/shipping/mar2004/sbreaking.html Shock Waves Demolish Alang] , Times Shipping Journal, March 2004, Retrieved: 2007-08-24]

In the early 2000s, Islamic militant organization Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader Siddikul Islam (also known as "Bangla Bhai") ran militant training centers in the upazila at which participants learned to make bombs and handle firearms. [ [http://www.bangladesh-web.com/view.php?hidDate=2005-09-29&hidType=TOP&hidRecord=0000000000000000063057 Police reveal starling facts about bigots’ operations] , Asharaful Huq, Daily News Monitoring Service, 2005-09-29; Retrieved: 2007-09-06] One of his followers, Mahfuzul Huq, was captured on 21 February 2006.

Geography and climate

Sitakunda Upazila occupies an area of convert|483.97|km2|sqmi|2,cite web| accessdate=2007-09-03 |url=http://www.bbs.gov.bd/dataindex/census/ce_uzila.pdf |title = Area, Population and Literacy Rate by Upazila/Thana-2001| publisher=Population Census Wing, BBS. |format=PDF] which includes convert|61.61|km2|sqmi|2 of forest.cite web |accessdate=2007-09-03 |url=http://www.bbs.gov.bd/com_series/chit_div/ctg_u_ag.pdf |title=Sitakunda Upazila: Census Results at a Glance – 2001 (Community Series)| publisher=Population Census Wing, BBS. |format=PDF] It is bordered by Mirsharai to the north, Pahartali to the south, Fatickchhari, Hathazari and Panchlaish to the east, and the Sandwip Channel in the Bay of Bengal to the west.Citation
last = Chowdhury
first = Shimul Kumar
contribution = Sitakunda Upazila
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/S_0420.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] The Sitakunda range is a convert|32|km|mi|0|sing=on long ridge in the center of the upazila, which reaches an altitude of convert|352|m|ft|0 above sea level at Chandranath or Sitakunda peak, the highest peak in Chittagong District.Citation
last = Chowdhury
first = Masud Hasan
contribution = Physiography
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/P_0166.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] Citation
last = Osmany
first = Shireen Hasan
contribution = Chittagong City
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/C_0208.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] Part of Sitakunda is covered by the low hill ranges, while the rest is in the Bengal flood plain. To the north, Rajbari Tila at convert|274|m|ft|0 and Sajidhala at convert|244|m|ft|0 are the highest peaks in this range, which drops abruptly to a height of less than convert|92|m|ft|0 in the vicinity of Chittagong City to the south. Approximately convert|5|km|mi|0 north of Sitakunda Town is the Labanakhya saltwater hot spring, which has been proposed as a source of geothermal energy. [ [http://www.adb.org/Clean-Energy/documents/BAN-Country-Report.pdf Promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas abatement] , Asian Development Bank, Retrieved: 2008-03-02] [ [http://www.rural-electrification.com/cms/upload/pdf/PSL_Marketreport-200307.pdf Market Report on Renewable Energy Technologies in Bangladesh] , Prokaushali Sangsad Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 23 February 2006, Retrieved: 2008-03-02] There are two waterfalls in the hills: "Sahasradhara" (thousand streams) and "Suptadhara" (hidden stream). [http://www.iczmpbangladesh.org/rep/wp030/wp030.PDF Areas with special status in the coastal zone] , A.M. Kamal Uddin, Working Paper WP030, Program Development Office for Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (PDO-ICZMP)] Both have been identified as sites requiring special attention for protection and preservation by the National Heritage Foundation of Bangladesh. [Tania Sharmeen, [http://www.weeklyholiday.net/2007/261007/cul.html Heritage Foundation starts journey] , Weekly Holiday, 2007-10-26; Retrieved: 2007-12-29]

An area prone to cyclones and storm surges, [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/cwpd/pdf/Biczmweb.pdf Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Bangladesh: A policy review] , Livelihood-Policy Relationships in South Asia: Working Paper 1, UK Department for International Development (DFID); Retrieved: 2007-09-08] Sitakunda was affected by cyclones in 1960, 1963, 1970, 1988, 1991, 1994 and 1997; the cyclones of 29 May 1963, 12 November 1970, 29 April 1991 made landfall. [ [http://www.bwdb.gov.bd/cyclone.htm Cyclones in Bangladesh] , Bangladesh Water Development Board; Retrieved: 2008-01-28] The intra-deltaic coastline is very close to the tectonic interface of the Indian and Burmese plates, as well as the active Andaman–Nicobar fault system, and is often capable of generating tsunamis. [ [http://www.fao.org/forestry/webview/media?mediaId=13138&langId=1 Pre-and post-tsunami coastal planning and land-use policies and issues in Bangladesh] , Rafiqul Islam, Food and Agriculture Organization; Retrieved: 2007-09-08] [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/10/21/d51021060259.htm Bangladesh runs high risk of quake, tsunami] , Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star, Metropolitan Page, 2005-10-21; Retrieved: 2007-10-10] Cyclone preparedness measures are inadequate for the 200,000 residents of Sitakunda who were estimated to be living in high risk areas after the 1991 cyclone. For every 5,000 people, Sitakunda has only one cyclone shelter, each of which is capable of holding 50 to 60 people. Syedpur Union has eleven, Muradpur eight, Baraiyadhala seven, and Kumira five. Sitakunda municipality, Barabkunda, Bhatiary and Bansbaria have four shelters each. Salimpur has three and Sonaichhari Union has two shelters. [Nur Uddin Alamgir, [http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/08/23/d608233501148.htm Two lakh live in high-risk areas of cyclone-prone Sitakunda] , The Daily Star, 2006-08-23; Retrieved: 2008-01-28]

The Chittagong Coastal Forest Department developed the river bars ("char" in Bengali) on the bank of the Sonaichhari channel adjacent to the Sitakunda coast into a kilometer-wide coastal mangrove plantation during 1989–90, to reduce the impact of cyclones. [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/12/24/d5122401033.htm Ship-breakers clear Sitakunda mangroves] , The Daily Star, Front Page, 2005-12-24; Retrieved: 2007-09-21] Although the site was initially unstable, rapid sediment accretion stabilised the soil, providing the coast with some protection. The cyclone of 1990 smashed about 25% of a convert|2|km|mi|0|sing=on seawall built using two-ton steel-reinforced concrete blocks, some of which were carried up to convert|100|m|ft|0 inland. In contrast, a mangrove plantation just south of the seawall sustained damage to less than 1% of its trees, most of which recovered within 6 months. [McConchie, D. and P. Saenger, 1991. Mangrove forests as an alternative to civil engineering works in coastal environments of Bangladesh: lessons for Australia. In: Arakel, A.V. (Ed.), Proceedings of 1990 Workshop on Coastal Zone Management, Yeppoon, Queensland, pp. 220-233] The planted mangrove forest that helped Sitakunda to escape as one the least damaged areas in Bangladesh during the devastating 1991 cyclone is under threat from illegal tree-cutting by ship-breakers in the area. [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/12/24/d5122401033.htm Ship-breakers clear Sitakunda mangroves] , The Daily Star, Front Page, 2005-12-24; Retrieved: 2007-09-21]

Annual average temperature is between convert|32.5|°C|°F|0 and convert|13.5|°C|°F|0, with an annual rainfall of convert|2687|mm|in|0. In June 2007, Sitakunda was badly affected by mudslides caused by heavy rainfall and recent practice of hill-cutting, along with Chittagong and Hathazari. [ [http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/YDOI-7447HR?OpenDocument Death toll in mudslide rises to 84 in southeastern Bangladesh] , ReliefWeb (Quoting Xinhua News Agency, 2007-06-12; Retrieved: 2007-12-26] The mean annual wind speed recorded in Sitakunda between 1991–2001 was convert|1.8|kn|mph|0, [Khan YSA, Hossain MS, Chowdhury MAT (2003) Resource inventory and land use mapping for integrated coastal environment management: remote sensing, GIS and RRA approach in greater Chittagong coast. Ministry of science and information & communication technology, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, p 59] as measured by the wind monitoring station built as part of a wind energy exploration project jointly run by the Local Government Engineering Department and the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies. [ [http://www.lged.org/sre/werm.htm Wind Energy Resource Mapping (WERM) in Bangladesh] , Wind Energy Development Project, Sustainable Rural Energy Program, Local Government Engineering Department, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh; Retrieved: 2007-08-25] [http://www.lged.org/sre/werm.htm Wind Energy Resource Mapping (WERM) in Bangladesh] , Wind Energy Development Project, Sustainable Rural Energy Program, Local Government Engineering Department, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh; Retrieved: 2007-08-25] A small 300–watt wind turbine, built by the government, provides electricity to fish farms. [Jan Jaap Bouma, Marcel Jeucken, Leon Klinkers; "Sustainable Banking: The Greening of Finance"; page 93; Deloitte and Touche]

Geology

The geological structure of Sitakunda, convert|70|km|mi|0 long and convert|10|km|mi|0 wide, is one of the westernmost structures of Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts, delimited by the Feni River in the north, the Karnaphuli River in the south, the Halda River in the east and the Sandwip Channel in the west.Citation
last = Baqui
first = MA
contribution = Geological Structure
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/G_0079.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] The Sitakunda Range acts as a water divide between the Halda Valley and the Sandwip Channel. convert|88|km|mi|0 long Halda flows from Khagrachari to the Bay of Bangal, and is one of the six tributaries of Karnafuli, the major river in the area. [Citation
last = Faruque
first = HS Mozaddad
contribution = Chittagong Region River System
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/C_0220.htm
accessdate = 2007-09-03
] Sandwip Channel represents the northern end of the western part of the Chittagong-Tripura Folded Belt. [Citation
last = Alam
first = AKM Khorshed
last2 = Chowdhury
first2 = Sifatul Quader
contribution = Chittagong-Tripura Folded Belt
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/C_0222.htm
accessdate = 2007-09-03
]

The structure contains a thick sedimentary sequence of sandstone, shale and siltstone. The exposed sedimentary rock sequences, convert|6500|m|ft|0 thick in an average of the structure, except limestone, provide no difference in overall lithology from that of Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Sitakunda fold is an elongated, asymmetrical, box-type double plunging anticline. Both the gently dipping eastern and steeper western flanks of the anticline are truncated abruptly by the alluvial plain of the Feni River. For a lack of infrastructure in Bangladesh, this anticline is one of the few regularly surveyed structures in the country. [Citation
last = Woobaidullah
first = ASM
contribution = Geological Survey
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/G_0080.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] The syncline from Sitakunda separates the eastern end of the Feni Structure located in the folded flank of the Bengal Foredeep.

Local experts consider the Sitakunda–Teknaf fault to be one of the two most active seismic faults in Bangladesh. [ [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/10/21/d51021060259.htm Bangladesh runs high risk of quake, tsunami] , Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star, Metropolitan Page, 2005-10-21; Retrieved: 2007-10-10] After the earthquake of 2 April 1762, which caused a permanent submergence of convert|155.4|km2|sqmi|1 of land near Chittagong and the death of 500 people in Dhaka, two volcanoes are said to have opened in the Sitakunda hills. [ [http://www.sdnpbd.org/sdi/international_days/wed/2005/bangladesh/disaster/earthquake.htm Disaster Prevention: Earthquake] , The Sustainable Development Networking Program (SDNP); Retrieved: 2007-08-25] Citation
last = Chowdhury
first = Sifatul Quader
last2 = Khan
first2 = Aftab Alam
contribution = Earthquake
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/E_0002.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] During a seismic tremor on 7 November 2007, fire broke out at the Bakharabad Gas Systems Limited in the Faujderhat area of the upazila when a pipeline was fractured. [ [http://asc-india.org/lib/20071107-roninpara.htm M5.2 Roninpara Earthquake, 2007] , Amateur Seismic Centre, 2007-12-30; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] The Girujan Clay Formation runs through Sitakunda at a thickness of convert|168|m|ft|0.Citation
last = Chowdhury
first = Sifatul Quader
last2 = Khan
first2 = Mujibur Rahman
last3 = Uddin
first3 = Md Nehal
contribution = Geological Group Formation
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/G_0078.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] [cite journal
last = Kent
first = W. N
authorlink =
coauthors = Hickman, R. G.; Gupta, U. D.
title = Application of a Ramp/Flat-Fault Model to Interpretation of the Naga Thrust
journal = AAPG Bulletin
volume = 86
publisher = American Association of Petroleum Geologists
date = 2002
url = http://aapgbull.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/reprint/86/12/2023.pdf
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] [ [http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/reprint/26/6/487.pdf Large sedimentation rate in the Bengal Delta] Retrieved: 2007-08-24] In the Sitakunda hills, the Boka Bil Shale Formation contains "Ostrea digitalina", "Ostrea gryphoides" and numerous plates of Balanus (a type of Barnacles), fragments of Arca, Pecten, Trochus, Oliva and corals. [ [http://www.geol.sc.edu/barbeau/zahid_uddin_2005.pdf Influence of overpressure on formation velocity evaluation of Neogene strata from the eastern Bengal Basin] Retrieved: 2007-08-24] [ [http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/geology/hrl/miocene%20sedimentation.pdf Miocene sedimentation and subsidence during continent–continent collision, Bengal basin] Retrieved: 2007-08-24] Both formations were identified and named by early 20th-century British petroleum geologist P. Evans.Evans, P.; "The tectonic framework of Assam"; Journal of the Geological Society of India 5, 1964.]

Demography

According to the census of 2001, Sitakunda had a population of 298,528 distributed to 55,837 units of households (average household size 5.3), including 163,561 men and 134,967 women, or a gender ratio of 121:100.cite web| accessdate = 03 September | accessyear = 2007 | url = http://www.bbs.gov.bd/dataindex/census/metropot.pdf | title = Household and Population of Statistical Metropolitan Areas in Bangladesh - 2001| publisher= Population Census Wing, BBS.] The average population of component administrative units of the upazila are 4,072 for wards, 1,666 for mahallas, 29,853 for unions, 5,060 for mauzas and 5,060 for villages reported by the census. Out of the 69 mauzas here, 8 have less than 50 households, while 27 have more than 600 households. Of the villages, 8 have a population of less than 250, while 29 have more than 2,500. As of 1991, the population density of Sitakunda was convert|568|PD/sqkm|PD/sqmi|0.cite web | accessdate = 10 November | accessyear = 2006 | url = http://www.bangladeshgov.org/mop/ndb/arpc91_v1/tables04.htm | archiveurl = http://web.archive.org/web/20050327072826/http://www.bangladeshgov.org/mop/ndb/arpc91_v1/tables04.htm | archivedate = 2005-03-27 | title = Population Census Wing, BBS.]

Apart from the Bengali majority, there are a number of small communities of ethnic minorities in the area. Many of the resident Rakhine people are believed to have settled here during the Arakanese rule of Chittagong (1459–1666), though the event is not historically traceable.Citation
last = Mabud
first = Abdul
contribution = The Magh
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/M_0034.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] The Rakhine population in Khagrachari District migrated from the surrounding area and built up their permanent abode at Ramgarh in the 19th century. Other ethnic groups include the recently migrated Tripuri people. [ [http://www.iczmpbangladesh.org/rep/resource/resource.pdf Resource Use by Indigenous Community in the Coastal Zone] ; Kamal, Mesbah, Research and Development Collective (RDC), July 2001; Retrieved: 2007-08-28] In the District of Chittagong that includes Sitakunda, the population ratio by religion in 2001 was Muslim 83.92%, Hindu 13.76%, Buddhist 2.01% and Christian 0.12%, with 0.19% following other religions. In 1981, it was Muslim 82.79%, Hindu 14.6%, Buddhist 2.23% and Christian 0.21%, with 0.19% following other religions. [ [http://www.bangladeshgov.org/mop/ndb/arpc91_v1/religiou.htm Zilawise Percentage Distribution of Bangladesh Population by Religious Communities] , Religious Composition, Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh; Retrieved: 2007-12-24] Chittagonian, a derivative of Bengali spoken by 14 million people mainly in the Chittagong district, [Raymond G. Gordon Jr., [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=cit Chittagonian] , Ethnologue; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] is the dominant language.

Administration

Sitakunda as a thana came into existence in 1879, and was renamed to Sitakunda Upazila in 1983. [http://www.udd-bd.org/summery.html Land Use Plan of Sitakunda Paurashava] ; Urban Development Directorate, Government of Bangladesh, 2006; Retrieved: 2007-08-28] It ranks third in area and sixth in population out of the 26 upazilas and thanas of Chittagong. Sitakunda Town, with an area of convert|28.63|km2|sqmi|2 and a population of 36,650, is the administrative center and the sole municipality ("Pourashabha") of Sitakunda Upazila.cite web| accessdate = 03 September | accessyear = 2007 | url = http://www.bbs.gov.bd/dataindex/census/municip.pdf | title = Area, Population and Literacy Rate by Paurashava- 2001| publisher= Population Census Wing, BBS.] The rest of the area is rural and organized into 10 Union Committees ("Union Parishads"), namely Banshbaria, Barabkunda, Bariadyala, Bhatiari, Kumira, Muradpur, Salimpur, Sonaichhari, Saidpur and Bhatiari Cantonment Area.cite web| accessdate = 03 September | accessyear = 2007 | url = http://www.bbs.gov.bd/com_series/chit_div/ctg_u_ag.pdf | title = Sitakunda Upazila: Census Results at a Glance - 2001 (Community Series)| publisher= Population Census Wing, BBS.] The area is divided into 69 mauzas and 59 villages. Along with neighboring towns like Hathazari, Fateyabad, Patiya and Boalkhali, the Sitakunda town was developed as a satellite town to accommodate increasing population pressure on Chittagong, with Bhatiari and Sadar unions selected as zones for industrialization, like South Halishahar and Kalurghat. [http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/04/08/d50408190299.htm Urban mass transportation for Chittagong - I] , Imon Chowdhooree and Kanu Kumar Das, The Daily Star, Urban Page, 2005-04-08; Retrieved: 2007-09-18]

Sitakunda Upazila makes the 280th electoral district in Bangladesh, identified as Chittagong-2. [ [http://www.bangla2000.com/Election_2001/all_candidates_Chittagong.shtm Chittagong Division] , All candidates at a Glance; Bangla 2000; Retrieved: 2007-12-27] In the 2001 parliamentary elections, nowrap|L. K. Siddiki of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was elected as the member of parliament. His main opposition came from nowrap|A. B. M. Abul Kasem of the Bangladesh Awami League. [ [http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/b/bangladesh/bangladesh20019.txt Voting by constituency] , People's Republic of Bangladesh: National Legislative Election 2001, Adam Carr's Election Archive; Retrieved: 2007-12-27] Jalaluddin Ahmed is the Upazila Nirbahi Officer, the chief executive of the upazila. [ [http://www.bangladeshnews.com.bd/2006/10/22/jute-mill-workers-block-dhaka-ctg-highway/ Jute mill workers block Dhaka-Ctg highway] , Bangladesh News, 2006-10-22; Retrieved: 2007-12-26] The upazila is served by a court of a first-class magistrate. [Citation
last = Hoque
first = Kazi Ebadul
contribution = Magistrate
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/M_0037.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
]

The Power Development Board is responsible for supplying electricity to the upazila, but due to power outages the industries in the area are strictly constrained. [ [http://www.newsnetwork-bd.com/UI/Public/NewsDetail.php?LogID=8029 Most areas in Ctg still under darkness ;PDB fails to repair Khulshi sub-station] , News Network, 2005-06-26; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] Anwarul Kabir Talukder, the State Minister for Power, lost his job on 29 September 2006 after hundreds of demonstrators in Sitakunda blocked the Dhaka–Chittagong highway in protest at the lack of electricity; violence also erupted elsewhere in Bangladesh. [Staff Correspondent, [http://www.newagebd.com/2006/oct/01/front.html Outrage for power on outside Dhaka] , The New Age; 2006-10-26; Retrieved: 2008-03-02] [Staff Correspondent, [http://www.newagebd.com/2006/oct/01/front.html Talukder dismissed after resignation announcement] , The New Age; 2006-10-26; Retrieved: 2008-03-02] In case of fire, the services are brought in from neighboring city of Chittagong. [ [http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/01/31/d60131062983.htm Girl burnt alive, 87 houses gutted] , UNB, "The Daily Star", 2006-01-31; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] There is a proposed Kumira–Sitakunda Hill Water Reservoir Project undertaken by the government, to supply safe drinking water. [ [http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sdissues/water/workshop_asia/presentations/amin.pdf Status of Water & Sanitation Services in Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Bangladesh] , Capacity Building Workshop on Partnerships for Improving the Performance of Water Utilities in the Asia and the Pacific Region, United Nations Development for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); Retrieved: 2007-12-29]

Economy

The ship breaking industry in Sitakunda has surpassed similar industries in India and Pakistan to become the largest in the world. [http://www.pakistaneconomist.com/issue2001/issue17/i&e1.htm Ship-breaking industry: Uncertain future] , Pakistan Economist, 2001-04-23, Retrieved: 2007-08-24] [http://web.archive.org/web/20050222014325/http://timesb2b.com/shipping/mar2004/sbreaking.html Shock Waves Demolish Alang] , Times Shipping Journal, March 2004, Retrieved: 2007-08-24] As of August 2007, over convert|1500000|MT|LT|0 of iron had been produced from the scrapping of about 20 ships in the 19 functional ship yards scattered over convert|8|km2|sqmi|0 along the coast of Sitakunda convert|8-10|km|mi|0 from Chittagong, near Fouzderhat. Local re-rolling mills, as well as similar mills, run on the scrap iron. [http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/sectors/shipbrk/shpbreak.htm "Ship Breaking: A Background Paper"] , Ataur Rahman and AZM Tabarak Ullah, Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork), International Labour Organization; Retrieved: 2007-08-25] Bangladesh, with no local metal ore mining, is dependent on ship-breaking for its domestic steel requirements; the re-rolling mills alone substitute for import of about convert|1200000|MT|LT|0 of billets and other raw materials. There are 70 companies registered as ship breakers in Chittagong, employing 2,000 regular and 25,000 semi-skilled and unskilled workers. Organized under the Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association, (BSBA), these include companies within large local conglomerates that sought ISO certificates. [ [http://www.phpgroupbd.com/unit/ship_breaking/index.php the first and only ISO Certified Company in Bangladesh in the Ship Breaking Industry] , Official Website, PHP Ship Breaking & Re-cycling Ind. Ltd., Retrieved: 2007-08-25]

The industry has come under threat, both from a decline in the number of ships scrapped annually – down from 70-80 to about 20, – and because of environmental and work safety concerns. There have been complaints that journalists and human rights activists are being barred from the ship breaking yards. [ [http://www.newagebd.com/2006/mar/18/nat.html Journalists, HR activists not allowed inside ship-breaking yard] , The New Age, 2006-03-18; Retrieved: 2007-09-06] The ship breaking industry is purportedly damaging the local ecology as well. The damage is taking a toll on the fish population and soil quality. [http://www.greenpeaceweb.org/shipbreak/evasionpolluter.pdf The Continuous Evasion Of The "Polluter Pays Principle"] ; Greenpeace; September 2002; Retrieved: 2007-09-03] A survey conducted by students of the Institute of Marine Science of Chittagong University in 2007 revealed that the soil of the locality is polluted by heavy metals including mercury (0.5 to 2.7 ppm), lead (0.5 to 21.8 ppm), chromium (220 ppm), cadmium (0.3 to 2.9 ppm), iron (2.6 to 5.6 ppm), calcium (5.2 to 23.2 ppm) and magnesium (6.5 to 10.57 ppm). [ [http://www.greenpeaceweb.org/shipbreak/dnvbangladesh.pdf DNV-Report: "Shipbreaking Practices: On site assessment Chittagong, Bangladesh"] Retrieved: 2007-08-25] Safety standards in the industry are low; between 1995 and 2005, 150 workers were killed and 576 were maimed or injured. [ [http://www.newagebd.com/2005/jun/01/met.html Greens concerned about safety in ship breaking industry] , Staff Correspondent, "The New Age", Metro page, 2005-06-01; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] The main causes of death were fire or explosion, suffocation and inhaling CO2. These old ships also contain hazardous substances like asbestos, lead paint, heavy metals and PCBs. [ [http://www.intertanko.com/upload/presentations/matser.doc Facing the Deadline] , InterTanko, 2002-04-16; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] The workers are paid US$1.75 a day and have little access to medical treatments. [ [http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200703/21/eng20070321_359608.html Feature: Workers of ship breaking industry in Bangladesh gasping for survival] , People's Daily Online, 2007-03-21; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] Among the workers, 41% of are between 18 to 22 years in age [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Daily Collection of Maritime Press Clippings 2005-138
work = MaritimeDigital Archive Portal
publisher = Frederic Logghe
date = 2005-06-01
url = http://www.ibiblio.org/maritime/Scheepvaartnieuws/Pdf/scheepvaartnieuws/2005/juni/138-01-06-2005b.PDF
format = PDF
doi =
accessdate = 2008-09-09
] and many are reported to be as young as 10 years of age. [A.N.M. Nurul Haque, [http://www.timesizing.com/gts0411d.htm Child labour in Bangladesh] , Timesizing News (quotes "The New Nation"), 2004-11-24; Retrieved: 2007-12-30] There have also been allegations of large quantities of steel and non-ferrous items, such as bronze, aluminum, copper, and bronze-amalgam recovered from ship breaking being smuggled out of Bangladesh. [ [http://www.healthandsafetybusiness.com/Autumn06/Articles/News_Int.html Bangladesh: Shipbreakers Pollute with Impunity] , The Rapid Results College Limited, Autumn 2006; Retrieved: 2007-12-30]

Employment of local people is low in the industrial facilities. The main occupations of the local people by industry are service (28.76%), commerce (21.53%), and agriculture (24.12%). Out of convert|12140.83|ha|acre|2 of cultivable land 25.46% yield a single crop, 57.95% yield double and 16.59% a treble crop annually. Bean, melon, rubber and betel leaf are the main agricultural exports. Fishing has traditionally been an industry restricted to low caste Hindus belonging to the fisher class, although since the last decades of the 20th century an increasing number of Muslims have joined the sector. [http://www.nri.org/projects/fishtrade/issues-marketcredit.pdf Livelihoods in Coastal Fishing Communities, and the Marine Fish Marketing System of Bangladesh] ; Ulrich Kleih, Khursid Alam, Ranajit Dastidar, Utpal Dutta, Nicoliene Oudwater, and Ansen Ward, NRI Report No 2712, Post-Harvest Fisheries Research Programme, January 2003; Retrieved: 2007-09-03] Due to the introduction of engine boats and gill nets, there was a rise in fish catches between the 1970s and 1990s, especially in the major fishing season (mid-July to mid-November). Over-fishing, however, has depleted the fish population and some fish species are facing extinction in the area, leading to seasonal food insecurity (February to April). According to a 2001 survey, 4,000 people in Sitakunda were engaged in wild shrimp fry collection, harvesting an average of five and a half million fries a year. [ [http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.enaca.org%2FShrimp%2FShrimpActionPlanforBangladesh%2FA%2520Livelihood%2520Analysis%2520of%2520Shrimp%2520fry%2520Collectors.doc&ei=8KLKR8qSOJqk6gOYiMn-AQ&usg=AFQjCNFo82mKMVYb-z8O9keYz4OOaXQDzg&sig2=JMPrjSzpfDFS8O1Mv0pDyQ A Livelihood Analysis of Shrimp Fry Collectors in Bangladesh: Future Prospects in Relation to a Wild Fry Collection Ban] , Timothy R. Frankenberger, TANGO International Inc., August, 2002; Retrieved: 2007-09-08]

Sitakunda has a cement factory, 12 jute mills, 6 textile mills, 10 re-rolling mills, and 79 functional and defunct shipyards. [http://www.iczmpbangladesh.org/rep/wp044.pdf Institutional Aspects of Ship Breaking Industry in Bangladesh] , Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan Project, Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO), Ministry of Water Resources, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Retrieved: 2007-08-25] Two of the operational jute mills are run by the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, [ [http://www.juteministry.org/html/bjmc.html BJMC] , Ministry of Jute, Government of Bangladesh; Retrieved: 2007-09-31] and one has been sold to a private sector company. [ [http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/exec/view.cgi/34/22126 Privatisation of textile mills turns sour in Ctg] , The New Nation, 2005-08-30; Retrieved: 2007-09-06] To protest against privatization, workers of Hafiz Jute Mill, Gul Ahmed Jute Mill, MM Jute Mill and RR Jute Mill blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway for seven hours in September 2007. [Staff Correspondent, [http://www.newagebd.com/2006/sep/08/front.html Jute millers block up Dhaka-Ctg Highway] , "The New Age", 1007-09-8; Retrieved: 2007-12-20] As early as 1953, Sitakunda was described as the location for one of only five poultry farms in East Pakistan, along with Tejgaon (Dhaka), Narayanganj (Dhaka), Jamalpur (Bogra), and Sylhet. ["Pakistan", page 156, Pakistan Department ofAdvertising, Films and Publications, 1953] Some mining for sand from agricultural lands happen along the eastern side of the Dhaka–Chittagong road. [ [http://www.sdnpbd.org/sdi/international_days/wed/2006/bangladesh/land_degradation.htm Bangladesh & Desertification] ; SDNP Bangladesh; Retrieved: 2007-09-31] Local brick kilns are engaged in illegal hill cutting, a practice that was responsible for the 2007 Chittagong mudslide. [ [http://www.newagebd.com/2007/jul/08/front.html DoE to initiate fresh survey to list illegal hill cutters] , Nurul Alam, The New Age, 2007-07-08, Retrieved: 2007-07-08] The rural poor are supported by Grameen Bank and NGOs such as CARE, BRAC and ASA. [Citation
last = Huda
first = Shamsul
contribution = Association for Social Advancement
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/A_0318.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
]

Transport and communication

The Dhaka–Chittagong Highway runs through Sitakunda, connecting the two largest cities in Bangladesh. A workshop conducted by Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimated that improving the highway would increase Bangladesh's GDP by 1% and its foreign trade by 20%. [News Release, [http://www.adb.org/Documents/News/BRM/brm-20070305.asp Improving Logistics in Dhaka-Chittagong Corridor Can Raise GDP by 1%] , ADB; Retrieved: 2008-01-25] This roadlink between the two cities existed in the pre-railway daysCitation
last = Mukherjee
first = Hena
contribution = Assam Bengal Railway
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/A_0332.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] and has been identified as a part of the medieval southern Silk Road. [Rehman Sobhan; "Rediscovering the Southern Silk Route: Integrating Asia's Transport"; page 139; University Press Limited; 2000; ISBN 9840515195] In 2006, ADB and the World Bank announced a plan to help Bangladesh build a second highway between Dhaka and Chittagong, [M Syeduzzaman, [http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/07/24/d607241502143.htm Fools rush in] , The Daily Star, 2006-07-24; Retrieved: 2008-01-25] which would be a part of the Asian Highway Network. [ [http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/Publications/TIS_pubs/pub_2303/BangladeshB5.pdf Bangladesh Study Report] , UNESCAP, Retrieved: 2008-03-03]

Historically, the rail transportation system drove developments in Chittagong and the surrounding areas, including Sitakunda. The rail tracks were established as part of the Bengal Assam Railway in 1898, originally running from Chittagong to Badarpur, with branches to Silchar and Laksam. In September 1878, Sitakunda was included in the East Bengal Circle of Railway Mail Service (RMS) along with rest of the district. [Citation
last = Khan
first = Ishtiaque Ahmed
contribution = Postal Communication
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/P_0235.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-24
] By 1904, the track system was extended to Chandpur to connect river boat traffic between Goalanda and Kolkata. Approximately convert|37|km2|sqmi|0 of railroads stop at six rail stations. Currently, there is no express train service between Sitakunda and Chittagong, though intercity expresses (Sylhet–Chittagong, Chandpur–Chittagong, and Dhaka–Chittagong) stop at Sitakunda station and carry a small share of the commuter traffic load. By 2003, there were a total of convert|112|km2|sqmi|0 of paved roads in the upazila, along with convert|256|km2|sqmi|0 of mud roads, as well as five ferry-gauts or river docks for the use of barge-type ferryboats. The traditional bullock carts are now rarely seen in the upazila.

Sitakunda was to be the landing station for a submarine communications cable, but the cable now comes ashore at Cox's Bazaar. [ [http://www.newagebd.com/2006/may/05/nat.html Joy for e-governance to curb corruption] , Staff correspondent, "The New Age", 2006-07-25; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] The cable has been frequently severed by miscreants, often in the Sitakunda area, since its installation on 21 May 2006. [ [http://www.southasianmedia.net/cnn.cfm?id=442670&category=Services&Country=BANGLADESH Cable cuts disrupt net] , South Asian Media Net, 2007-11-14; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) has brought internet services to the upazila by establishing Rural Knowledge Centres (RKC). [ [http://www.bnnrc.net/ Rural Knowledge Center provide Data Operators to the Voter Registration and National ID Card Program and facilitate in the motivational campaign] , Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication; Retrieved: 2007-12-29] BTTB and RanksTel run telephone services in the upazila. The telephone area code for Sitakunda is 3028, which has to be added to Bangladesh area code +880 when making overseas calls, and the subscriber numbers consist of four digits locally. [ [http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/oth/02/02/T02020000120001MSWE.doc Numbering Plan] , Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), 2006; Retrieved: 2007-12-29]

Pilgrimage sites

Sitakunda is a major site for pilgrimage in Bangladesh, as it features 280 mosques (including the Shah Mosque) 8 mazars (including Baro Awlias Mazar, Kalu Shah Mazar, Fakir Hat Mazar), 49 Hindu temples (including Labanakhya Mandir, Chandranath Mandir, Shambunath Mandir), 3 ashrams (including Sitakunda Shankar Math), and 3 Buddhist temples. The Hammadyar Mosque, located at the village of Masjidda, and the Hammadyar Dighi, a big tank in front of it, were built during the reign of Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah, the last Husain Shahi sultan of Bengal, as recorded by the inscription above the central entrance.Citation
last = Hossain
first = Shamsul
contribution = Hammadyar Mosque
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/H_0038.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] The Sudarshan Vihara at village Mayani here, as well as the Vidarshanaram Vihara at village Mayani in Patiya was established in 1922 by Prajnalok Mahasthavir (1879–1971), an eminent Bangladeshi Buddhist preacher.Citation
last = Bhikkhu
first = Sunithananda
contribution = Prajnalok Mahasthavir
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/P_0252.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
]

According to a legend, Shiva's wife Sati immolated herself in the yajna-fire of her father Daksha, as a protest against Shiva's dishonor. The God became furious and started to dance the "Tāndava" with Sati's body on his shoulders.David Kinsley, "Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition", University of California Press, 1988, ISBN 0520063392] Knowing that the dance of destruction was about to annihilate the world, Vishnu cut the body of Sati to pieces with Sudarshana Chakram, his celestial weapon, Shiva was appeased when the body was pulverized. Each of 51 pieces of the body fell to earth, and where each piece fell became a holy center of pilgrimage or "Shakti Peetha". The legend goes that Sati's right arm fell near a now-extinct hot spring at the Chandranth peak in Sitakunda. The site is marked by the temple of Sambhunath just below the Chandranath temple on top of the peak, and it is a major "tirtha" for Hindus in Bangladesh.Citation
last = Togawa
first = Masahiko
contribution = Sakta-pitha
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/S_0033.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] [Citation |last=Chowdhury |first=Sifatul Quader |contribution=Hot Spring |editor-last=Islam |editor-first=Sirajul |editor-link=Sirajul Islam |title=Banglapedia |publisher=Asiatic Society of Bangladesh |place=Dhaka |year=2003 |isbn=9843205766 |contribution-url=http://search.com.bd/banglapedia/HT/H_0176.htm |accessdate= 2008-01-15]

According to Rajmala, the temple of Chandranath received considerable endowments from the Twipra Kingdom in the time of king Dhanya Manikya, who once attempted to remove the lingam from the temple to his kingdom. [http://nation.ittefaq.com/artman/exec/view.cgi/62/34085 Sitakunda Shrine and Shiba Chaturdarshi Festival] , Prem Ranjan Dev, The New Nation, Editorial Page, 2007-02-16; Retrieved: 2007-08-27] Poets from across the ages – from Jayadeva (circa 1200 AD) to Nabinchandra Sen (1847–1909) – were said to be devoted to the temple. Chandranath is within the jurisdiction of Gobardhan Math, which was founded, according to legends, by Padmacharya, a disciple of Shankaracharya and founder of "Vana" and "Aranya" sects of the Dashanami Sampradaya. An International Vedic Conference was held from 15 February to 17 February 2007 at Sitakunda Shrine (Tirtha) Estate in Sitakunda Chandranath Dham, on the occasion of the great Shiva Chaturdarshi. These temples have been subject to repeated attack and violation by Muslims, [ [http://www.hinduamericanfoundation.org/pdf/HHR2006.pdf Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora] (PDF); Hindu American Foundation, 2007-06-11; Retrieved: 2007-09-03] and Bangladeah Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad (Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Solidiarity Association) has asked for the pilgrims to be protected. [ [http://bhbcop.org/bulletin/2006/may/news1.html Memorendum to SAARC Ministers] , Bulletin, May 2006, Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad; Retrieved: 2007-12-24]

Flora and fauna

While returning to Kolkata after completing a floral survey, Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911) carried out the first survey of Sitakunda's local flora, as recorded in his "Himalayan Journals", in January 1851 (published by the Calcutta Trigonometrical Survey Office and Minerva Library of Famous Books; Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co., 1891).Citation
last = Zuberi
first = M Iqbal
contribution = Flora
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/F_0107.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
]

The forests of the region are known to be evergreen type with a preponderance of deciduous species with a levelled distribution. The topmost level consists of Garjan ("Dipterocarpus alatus"), Telsur ("Hopea odorata"), Chapalish ("Artocarpus chaplasha"), Chundul ("Tetrameles nudiflora") and Koroi or the Moluccan albizia ("Albizia falcataria"). The lower level consists of species of Jarul ("Lagerstroemia speciosa"), Toon ("Toona ciliata"), Jam ("Syzygium cumini"), Jalpai ("Elaeocarpus robustus") and Glochidion. Lianas, epiphytes (mostly of orchids, asclepiads, ferns and leafy mosses) and herbaceous are found as undergrowth. Savannah formations are found in the open, along the banks of rivers and swamps with common tall grasses like Kans ("Saccharum spontaneum"), Shon ("Imperata cylindrica" and "I. arundincca") and Bena ("Vetiveria zizanoides"). Several species of Bamboo are cultivated that are common in Bangladesh including "Bambusa balcooa", which is also common in Assam, "B. vulgaris", "B. longispiculata", "B. tulda" and "B. nutans", while the last two are also common in the hills of the region. [ [http://www.inbar.int/publication/txt/INBAR_BR_05.htm Bamboo and Rattan Genetic Resources in Certain Asian Countries] , K. Vivekanandan, A.N. Rao and V. Ramanatha Rao (ed.), IPGRI, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR); Retrieved: 2007-09-18]

A number of fish species have become endangered in the area due to overfishing. They include Bhoal ("Raiamas bola"), Lakkhya ("Eleutheronema tetradactylum"), Chapila ("Gudusia chapra"), Datina ("Acanthopagrus latus"), Rupchanda ("Pampus argenteus"), Pungash ("Pangasius pangasius"), Chhuri ("Trichiurus lepturus"), Ilsha Chandana ("Tenualosa toli"), Hilsha ("Tenualosa ilisha"), Faishya ("Anchoviella commersonii"), Maittya ("Scomberomorus commerson"), Gnhora ("Labeo gonius"), Kata ("Nemapteryx nenga"), Chewa ("Taenioides cirratus"), Sundari bele ("Glossogobius giuris"), Bnata ("Liza parsia"), Koral ("Etroplus suratensis") and Kawoon ("Anabas testudineus"), as well as crustaceans like tiger shrimps. [For name alternatives see [http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/Country/CountryComNamesSearchList.cfm?Country=050 List of Common Names of fishes of Bangladesh] (list)]

The first eco-park in Bangladesh, along with a botanical garden, was established in 2001 under a five-year (2000–2004) development project at a cost of Tk 3.57 crore on convert|808|ha|acre|0 of the Chandranath Hills in Sitakunda.Citation
last = Khair
first = Abul
contribution = Eco-park
editor-last = Islam
editor-first = Sirajul
editor-link = Sirajul Islam
title = Banglapedia
publisher = Asiatic Society of Bangladesh
place = Dhaka
year = 2003
isbn = 9843205766
contribution-url = http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/E_0019.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-15
] The eco-park was established to facilitate biodiversity conservation, natural regeneration, new plantations and infrastructure development, as well as to promote nature-based tourism to generate income. The park, convert|405|ha|acre|0, and the garden, convert|403|ha|acre|0, under the Bariadhala Range of Chittagong Forest Division, are rich with natural Gymnosperm tree species including Podocarpus neriifolius and species of Gnetum and Cycas. The park is reported to be able to receive 25,000 visitors in a single weekend. [ [http://www.iucn.org/themes/ceesp/Publications/newsletter/PM14-Section%20II.pdf Managing demand for protected areas in Bangladesh: poverty alleviation, illegal commercial use and nature recreation] , Monoj K. Roy and Philip J. DeCosse, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Retrieved: 2007-09-18] With the botanical garden included, the number of visitors can reach up to 50,000. [ [http://nishorgo.org/files_pdf/Review_of_Issues&Options_for_the_Sustainable_Financing_of_PA%20Mngmt.pdf Review of Issues and Options for the Sustainable Financing of Protected Areas Management in Bangladesh] , Glen Anderson and AHM Mostain Billah, Nishorgo, Bangladesh Protected Areas Management Program; Retrieved: 2007-09-18] According to the "International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management", however, "ignoring the dependence of local people on park resources created conflicts between local communities and the park authority" and "prohibition on the extraction of forest products from the park... make the livelihoods of surrounding villagers vulnerable". [Nath, T.K. and M. Alauddin, [http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/sapi/ijbsm/2006/00000002/00000001/art00001 Sitakunda botanical garden and eco-park, Chittagong, Bangladesh: Its impacts on a rural community] , The International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2006, pp. 1-11(11).]

ociety

The educational institutions of the upazila include Faujdarhat Cadet College (founded in 1958), 4 regular colleges (including Sitakunda Degree College founded in 1968), 24 high schools (including Sitakunda Government High School founded in 1913), 10 madrasas, and 76 junior and primary schools. All the secondary schools and regular colleges are under the Chittagong Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education split from the Comilla Board in May, 1995. [ [http://www.bise-ctg.gov.bd/districts_under_bise.html Official Website] , Chittagong Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education; Retrieved: 2007-12-27] Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah (1885-69), an eminent Bangladeshi linguist, served as the headmaster of the Government High School from 1914 to 1915. [ [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/S_0268.htm Shahidullah, Muhammad] , Banglapedia: The National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Retrieved: 2007-08-24] On 24 July 1996, members of Bangladesh Chhatra League and Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) in Sitakunda Degree College fought with guns and bombs over a minor dispute. ["The Bangladesh Observer", 1996-06-25, page 12, column 1] [http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/research/publications/index_e.htm?docid=120&cid=0&sec=CH03 Issue Paper: Bangladesh Human RIghts Situation] , Immigration and refugee Board of Canada, January 1997; Retrieved: 2007-12-26] On 29 July 1996, two ICS member of the college were abducted and killed. ["The Bangladesh Observer", 1996-06-31, page 1, column 1] Faujdarhat Cadet College and Bangladesh Military Academy are also situated in this upazila. As of 2001, average literacy of Sitakunda Upazila for people of 7 years of age or more is 54.6%, while the average literacy of Sitakunda Pourashabha is 53.9%. There has been an overall growth of 32.9% between 1991 and 2001, which for men was 20.5% and for women 59.2%. 70,315 people of the Upazila between the ages of 5 and 24 years attend schools, an overall increase of 35.6% between 1991 and 2001, which for men was 28.1% and for women 45.4%. The highest school attendance rate is observed in age group 10–14 years.

The health service centers in the upazila include a health complex, an infectious disease hospital, a railway TB hospital, 11 family planning centres and a veterinary treatment centre. Bangladesh Railway set up the hospital at Kumira in 1952 with a capacity of 150 beds. The capacity was reduced to 50 beds in 1994 as some focus was redirected to the hospital Central Railway Building in Chittagong. Originally built to treat railway employees, the hospital now also treats people from the wider community. [ [http://www.newagebd.com/2005/apr/10/met.html Chest Disease Hospital in Ctg in bad shape] , Tushar Hayat Chaudhury, The New Age, Metro Page, 2005-04-10, Retrieved: 2007-09-18] Malaria, dengue and other fevers, hepatitis, as well as respiratory infections including tuberculosis are some of the major health threats. The percentage of disabled in Sitakunda is reported to be the highest in Bangladesh, at 17% compared to the national average of 13%. [http://southasia.oneworld.net/article/view/126314/1/2220 Wealth of Trans National Corporations and the vision of localization] , Zakaria, Muhammad; In Depth, One World South Asia; Retrieved: 2007-08-28]

Banshbaria Union has been declared as 100% sanitized, as all households in the union adopted sanitary latrines, [ [http://www.wateraid.org/documents/plugin_documents/changinglives.pdf Changing Lives: Community Based Advocacy] ; Rural Advocacy Program, WaterAid Bangladesh, February 2006; Retrieved: 2007-09-03] while the upazila has only 16% sanitation coverage. [ [http://www.adb.org/Documents/Environment/Ban/ban-roadmaintenance.pdf Summary Environmental Impact Assessment] , Road Maintenance and Improvement Project, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, July 2000; Retrieved: 2007-09-08] A survey published in 2006 by the Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project found that of the 18,843 tube wells surveyed, 24.7% were found to be contaminated. Visible signs of arsenic poisoning were found in 47 people. [ [http://www.bamwsp.org/Survey%20Result/Upazila%20Summary.pdf Upazila wise Summary Results] , Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project (BAMWSP); Retrieved: 2007-12-29] [http://www.bamwsp.org/Survey%20Result/Upazila%20Summary.pdf Upazila wise Summary Results] , Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project (BAMWSP); Retrieved: 2007-12-29]

National newspapers published in Dhaka including Prothom Alo, Ajker Kagoj, Janakantha and The Daily Ittefaq are available in Sitakunda, as well as regional newspapers published in Chittagong Azadi and Purbakon. It also has its own local newspapers and a journalist community. In 2003, Atahar Siddik Khasru, the president of the local Press Club, went missing on 30 April and was rescued on 21 May. [http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=10150 Bangladesh - 2004 Annual Report: A journalist abducted] , Reporters Without Frontiers; Retrieved: 2007-12-26] [ [http://www.freemedia.at/cms/ipi/freedom_detail.html?country=/KW0001/KW0005/KW0110/&year=2003 2003 World Press Freedom Review: Bangladesh] , International Press Institute; Retrieved: 2007-12-26] He was abducted and tortured by unidentified men allegedly on charges of protesting against the harassment of Mahmudul Haq, editor of local magazine "Upanagar". [ [http://www.cpj.org/attacks03/asia03/bangla.html Attacks on the Press: Bangladesh] , Committee to Protect Journalists; Retrieved: 2007-12-26] On 6 May, about 30 local journalists working for national and local press took to the streets in protest. The other weekly newspaper is "Chaloman Sitakunda". Television channels available in the upazila include satellite television channels like Channel i, ATN Bangla, Channel One, NTV, as well as terrestrial television channel Bangladesh Television.

The festivals of Shiva Chaturdashi in middle of the month of Falgun (end of February) and Chaitra Sankranti at end of the month of Chaitra (mid April) are observed with much fanfare, featuring the largest Hindu fair of the district. [Mahbubul Haque, "Chittagong Guide: Tourist, Industrial, Shipping & Business Guide", page 85, Barnarekha, Dhaka, 1981] The Sitakunda Upazila Krira Sangstha (Sports Club) is noted for its participation in soccer. [ [http://club-soccer.com/Continents/asia/bangladesh.htm Bangladesh] , Country Directory, Club Soccer; Retrieved: 2007-12-27] There are 151 clubs, a public library and two cinema halls in the upazila.

ee also

*List of Bangladesh tropical cyclones
*Chittagong District
*Upazilas of Bangladesh
*Hinduism in Bangladesh

References

External links

* [http://banglapedia.org/HT/S_0420.HTM Banglapedia article]
* [http://photo.webbangladesh.com/gallery_big.php?image_id=167&gall_id=21&category_id=1&sub_cat_id=4 A picture of Sitakunda Hill]
* [http://sankarmathomission.org/ Shankar Math Official Site]


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