Canning, South 24 Parganas

Canning, South 24 Parganas

Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Canning | type = city | latd = 22.32 | longd = 88.67
locator_position = right | state_name = West Bengal
district = South 24 Parganas
leader_title =
leader_name =
altitude = 4
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 450,321 | population_density =
area_magnitude= sq. km
area_total =
area_telephone = 91 3218
postal_code = 743329
vehicle_code_range =
sex_ratio = 953
unlocode =
website =
footnotes =
:"See Canning (disambiguation) for other uses."

Canning ( _bn. ক্যানিং) (also referred to as Port Canning) is headquarters of a subdivision of the same name, a town with a police station, a community development block, and an assembly constituency in South 24 Parganas district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Carrying the memory of an abandoned port, the town is dependent to some extent on the changing fortunes of the Matla River and the promise of a bridge over it. It is a major centre for the supply of fish to Kolkata.


The place is named after Lord Canning. He was Governor General of India from 1856 to 1858, and Governor General and Viceroy from 1858 to 1862. [Edwardes, Michael, "A History of India", paper back edition 1967, p.326, The New English Library.]


H. E. A. Cotton writes, “The year 1864… It witnessed also the speculative mania over an unlucky scheme for the reclamation of the Sunderbands, of which nothing remains but the deserted wharves of Port Canning, but which resulted in ruin to many.” [Cotton, H.E.A., "Calcutta Old and New", 1909/1980, p. 183, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.] The idea of developing a major port at Canning faded with the choking of the Matla river as a result of inadequate headwater supply. [Ray, Animesh, "The Calcutta Port", in "Calcutta, the Living City", Vol. II, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. 124, Oxford University Press, ISBN 019563697-X.]

Lord Canning wanted to build a port that would be an alternative to Kolkata and a rival to Singapore. What no one heeded were the warnings of a lowly shipping inspector Henry Piddington, who had lived in the Caribbean and knew all about hurricanes and storms. He wanted the mangroves to be left alone, as they were Bengal’s defensive barrier against nature’s fury and absorbed the initial onslaught of cyclonic winds, waves and tidal surges. They went on to build a grand Canning with a strand, hotels and homes, but in 1867, the Matla river surged its fury on the new port-town, reducing it to a “bleached skeleton”. [cite web | url =
title = Sunderbans shadow lines | accessdate = 2007-09-30 | last = Bhimani| first = Rita| work = | publisher = "The Telegraph", 16 July 2004

In 1862, the Calcutta and South-eastern Railway opened a southward line from what was then known as Beliaghata station to Port Canning. In the same year, the East Bengal Railway had opened its line from Sealdah to Kushtia. It also opened its own southern line to Diamond Harbour. Calcutta and South-eastern Railway was taken over by the government in 1863. East Bengal Railway was taken over by the government in 1887. Services on the eastern side of Hooghly River was unified under Eastern Bengal State Railway and after further amalgamation in 1942, the Bengal Assam Railway. [Sukanta Chaudhuri, "The Railway Comes to Calcutta", in "Calcutta, the Living City", edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Vol. I, p. 239, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-563696-3.]


Canning is located at coord|22.32|N|88.67|E|. [ [ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Canning] ] It has an average elevation of 4 metres (13 feet). It is gateway to the Sundarbans.Bandopadhyay, Raghab, Calcutta’s Markets, in "Calcutta, the Living City", Vol. II, pp. 118-121.] It is situated on the south bank of the Matla River. It is part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway system and is connected to Sealdah station and is also connected to Kolkata by road. One can cross the Matla River and then proceed to Basanti for a boat to the interior of the Sundarbans or hire a motor launch for travel to Sundarbans at Canning itself. The first watch tower at Sajnekhali is about 5 hours away. [cite web | url =
title = A Rendezvous with Sundarban |accessdate = 2007-09-30 | last = | first = | work = The Journey…| publisher = Chilli Breeze
] The Matla River is so silted up that during the dry season, boats cannot come to the jetties. They have to be stationed 500 yards away. During the monsoons, the river becomes so turbulent that boats cannot ferry people across the river. The Sunderban Development Board has decided to build a bridge on the river Matla at an estimated cost of Rs. 29 crore. [cite web | url =
title = Bridge on the river Matla | accessdate = 2007-09-30 | last = | first = | work = | publisher = "The Statesman", 24 December 2005


In the 2001 census, the two community development blocks had a population of 450,321 out of which 225,392 were males and 214,833 were females. Almost the entire population is classified as rural. [cite web | url = | title = Census of India 2001 | accessdate = 2007-08-24 | last = | first = | work = Provisional population totals, West Bengal, Table 4 | publisher = Census Commission of India ]


Canning is an intermediate panchayat (local self-government) under South 24 Parganas district. Village panchayats under it are – Bansra, Daria, Dighirpar, Gopalpur, Hatpukuria, Itkhola, Matla I and II, Nikarighata, Taldi, Atharobandi, Deuli I and II, Kalikatala, Matherdighi, Narayanpur, Sarengabad, Tambuldaha I and II. [cite web | url =
title = Details of West Bengal till Village Panchayat Tier | accessdate = 2007-08-24 | last = | first = | work = | publisher = Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India


Fish centre

Canning is a major market for supply of fish to Kolkata. The fishermen of the area bring their catch to the all-night fish market at Canning. Here the commission agents receive the fish and auction them. It is bought by the wholesalers and transported to Kolkata for sale to retailers, who sell it in the different markets. As greater part of Kolkata’s fish now come from South India and Madhya Pradesh, local wholesale trade at Canning and Bagnan has lost out in the competition.


Canning is part of Joynagar (Lok Sabha constituency). [cite web | url = | title = General election to the Legislative Assembly, 2001 – List of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies | accessdate = 2007-09-19 | last = | first = | work = West Bengal | publisher = Election Commission of India.]

Canning has two state assembly seats.

Canning East

Abdur Razzak Molla of CPI(M) won the Canning East seat from 1977 to 2006 defeating Amirul Islam of AITC in 2006, Mujibar Rahman Kayal of INC in 2001, Akram Laskar of INC in 1996, Abdus Sattar Mollah of INC in 1991, Amar Nath Bandopadhyay of INC in 1987, Ahammad Nuruzzaman of INC in 1982 and Osman Gani of INC in 1977. [cite web | url =
title = 106 - Canning East Assembly Constituency | accessdate = 2007-09-22 | last = | first = | work = Partywise comparison since 1977 | publisher = Election Commission of India

Canning West

In the 2006 state assembly elections, Dwijapada Mondol of CPI(M) won the Canning West (SC) seat defeating his nearest rival, Gobinda Chandra Naskar of AITC. In 2001, Gobinda Chandra Naskar representing INC defeated Bimal Mistry of CPI(M). Bimal Mistry of CPI(M) defeated Bhaskar Sinha of INC in 1996 and 1991. Gobinda Chandra Naskar of INC defeated Chittaranjan Mirdha of CPI(M) in 1987. Chittaranjan Mirdha of CPI(M) defeated Gobinda Chandra Naskar of INC in 1982 and 1977. [cite web | url =
title = 105 - Canning West (SC) Assembly Constituency | accessdate = 2007-09-22 | last = | first = | work = Partywise comparison since 1977 | publisher = Election Commission of India


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