Bokaro Steel City is the home of one of the largest steel plant in India, and several other medium and small industries. It is the district headquarters of the Bokaro district
Situated on the Chhota Nagpur Plateau, the vast rolling topography of the city is typical, strewn by graded valleys and winding streams. In this setting, within a short period of two decades, a new city with a strong multi-dimensional economic base has blossomed into a regional urban centre of around 1,100,000 people drawn from different parts of the country, giving the city the look of Mini India.
Formerly there was a sleepy village named Maraphari deep in the jungles of Chota Nagpur. The closest village cluster was Chas. Purulia was the closest town and the area was ruled by the Maharaja of Kashipur. Folk lores have it that this area came under Mughal rule by the conquests of Man Singh. The region was named ManBhoom after him (VeerBhoom and SinghBhoom are the neighbouring regions also named after him, Veer Man Singh).
This remote place came into prominence when Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru planned to build the first swadeshi steel plant with the help of the Soviets. The proximity to coal, iron ore, manganese, and other raw materials helped in the selection of this place. The steel plant was originally incorporated as a limited company on 29 January 1964, and was later merged with SAIL and came to be known as Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL). The late 1960s and early 1970s saw heavy construction of the steel plant as well as the township. The first blast furnace started on 2 October 1972. The Sector III and Camp I and II were the first to come in the township followed by Sectors II, IX, IV and so on. The first private school came in the form of St. Xavier's School which the Jesuits from Hazaribagh built on invitation from the BSL management. The 1980s saw rapid development of the township with new sectors coming up, new schools, parks, zoos and other public amenities coming up. Township development ceased with the completion of IV/F and IV/G. In all bokaro steel city consists of 12 sectors out of which sector -VII&X do not exist. Entire township is so meticulously planned that very few cities in India can match, trees are planted all along the roads giving shelter to passersby during the summers. Every sub section of a sector has one or two huge play ground, all schools in bokaro have two to three big play grounds. The late 1990s saw sprucing up of the City Park and creation of islands, new schools and the success of Bokaro's students in all India level competition exams, specially IIT's. During this period Bokaro also emerged as the eastern hub for academics. Bokaro also boasts of having a unique cosmopolitan culture as the population consists of people belonging to different parts of India.
Bokaro is located in picturesque surroundings on the southern bank of river Damodar, one of its tributaries meandering along the southern and eastern outskirts of the city. On the north, the city is flanked by the high ranges of the Parasnath Hills, it is enveloped by the Satanpur hillocks. Two artificial cooling ponds have been built for use in steel making. A dam on river Garga has been built to supply water to the township as well as the steel plant, but due to ever increasing demand Tenughat dam is supplementing it.
As of 2001 Bokaro Steel City had a population of 497,000. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Bokaro Steel City has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 96% and female literacy of 74%. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The economy of the Steel City is heavily depended on the Steel Plant which is the primary source of income for the employees. After the 2001 downturn, steel prices hardened due to huge rise in consumption by China and India. This resulted in huge profits by SAIL which crossed a record Rs 6000 crores (USD 1.3 Bn by the end of FY' 06.
The primary economy is supplemented by BIADA (Bokaro Industrial Area Development Authority) which is an industrial area supplying most of the industrial supplies for the steel plant, and there are some small mills making finished products out of steel as well as cement from the slag.
The primary economy is well supported by the services sector. The city market situated at the center of the city is full of shops selling the basic requirements of groceries and furniture, to the latest tech gizmos. Of late a lot of shops selling computer hardware have come up along with a lot of computer training institutes making Bokaro a hub of computer studies for the region. The old chas bazaar still remains a cheap option of wholesale market, and Dundibag is one of the biggest vegetable markets for the region. Besides these, each sector has its own small shopping center catering to the day to day needs of the people.
- Modernisation of BSL and extend its capacity from 4.5 MT to 7 MT before 2011. In the same way, further plan for SAIL to extend BSL capacity to 17 MT before 2020. Apart from this a SAIL Greenfield steel plant is planned to set up before 2015, capacity of 5 MT. So before 2020 BSL total capacity goes up to 22 MT, appx. double the present capacity (13 MT) of SAIL all Steel Plants.
- BHUSAN Steel has also acquired land for its steel plant, capacity of appx. 2MT.
- ELECTROSTEEL a European steel major is also acquired land near Chas to set up of their plant by investing a sum of Rs.5000 crores.
- SAIL and Jaypee Cement has a JV of 50:50 to set up a Cement Factory of capacity 2 MT by waste product of steel plant.
- DVC and SAIL has a joint venture of 50:50 to extend the capacity of Bokaro power plant from 500 MW to 1000 MW.
- ONGC start exploring first time not in India but in Asia, Methane Gas for Commercial use from Parbhatpur (10 km from Bokaro). It is largest natural gas reserve in Asia.
- SEZ : Jharkhand government's second SEZ after Jamshedpur is planned to set up in BIADA in 500 acres land.
- IIT, IIM, AIIMS : Bokaro Steel City is all ready to host new branches of IIT, IIM..
Being an industrial area, agriculture has taken a back seat and is nothing worth mentioning except small amounts of paddy grown in the fringes of the city by the villagers.
Languages spoken: Hindi and Khortha dialect of Hindi
- Buddha Vihar - This pious place is located in Sector-IV/D. This is the single place in Bokaro for the Buddhists religious gathering.
- Gayatri Mandir - Located in Sector-9/A. People use to visit the place during the morning and evening time for the daily prayer. Navmi puja at Gayatri mandir is also famous. Khichri is distributed as the prasad on the occasion of Navmi puja.
- Aaiyappa Mandir - Located in Sector-5, it is an important social, cultural and religious meeting place for people from the South.
- Ram Mandir - Located in the Sector-1/C is the most famous mandir dedicated to Lord Ram and smaller other mandirs encircling it dedicated to other gods and goddesses. The Ram Mandir market is also famous for its coffee house, batata poori, chat, samosa, phuchka and famous egg-rolls. Ram Mandir houses one of the oldest markets of Bokaro. The airport is 1km from Ram Mandir.
- Jagannath Temple - Located in Sector-4, the newly built Jagannath temple is an another attraction. The temple is a replica of the famous temple in Puri, Orissa.
- Kali Mandir - Located in Sector-8, it is one of the oldest temples of the city. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to one of the incarnations of Shakti, Goddess Kali. Besides the religious activities it is also a major socializing place for the Bengalis of the city. The temple organizes an annual painting competition attended by hundreds of students from the schools of the city.
- City Park - Bokaro has a well maintained City Park with an artificial lake. Recently three artificial islands have also been added. These islands were designed in Japanese style. The park used to have some animals but they were all transferred to the Jawaharlal Botanical Garden in the early 90s. There is a small guest house that is used to host parties for visiting dignitaries. A small restaurant, Vasant Vihar stands at the eastern edge of the lake. There is a small toy train which runs for some time early every year. The park hosts an annual Basant Mela (Spring Fiesta) early February. The southern part of the park is used by thousands during the annual Chhath puja in October/November.
- Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park - The biggest zoological garden in Jharkhand was built in the late 80s and early 90s. It has animals and birds from different parts of the world, with the big cats being the biggest attractions. The zoo came into limelight after multiple breedings of white tigers, royal bengal tigers, and the Asiatic lion over a short span of time. The cubs were sent to different zoos in India and abroad, since the available resources were not good enough to cater to the needs of so many big cats. Boating is allowed in the artificial lake created within the park. There is also a kids corner near bear cage and adjacent to it is a small dam. Now the facility of toy train is also available inside.
- Chas - Once a small grain trading hub of the region, this town first became famous during the Second World War when the British Government used it as a base to supply soldiers fighting on the eastern front against the Japanese. After the decision of Government of India to establish the Bokaro Steel Plant it gained in stature. It was the administrative headquarters of the area when Bokaro was a part of Dhanbad district, and later when Bokaro became a district. Recently the headquarters were moved to the steel township. Chas continues to be a trading hub, but has declined in importance after the rise of the township to the west.
- Siwandih - Its a suburb which houses a large number of migrants from Bihar living and working in the Steel plant. The area is situated in west part of Bokaro near railway station. The Garga Dam is nearby to this place. Azad Nagar is area in Siwandih two mosques are there in this area. One big Idgah is also in this area for Muslims prayer for ID and ID-Ul-Zuha. Popular neighborhoods in Siwandih are Bansgora, Islampur, Makhdumpur and Haisabatu.
- Jainamore- A one of the 42 village in Jaridih block of Bokaro. It is around 7km away from the Bokaro Steel City railway station. Large number of displaced person from Asansol, Ravatdih, Mahuaar, Kanchnpur and Kundori are living and working in Steel Authority of Indian Ltd. It is on the NH-23.
- Babudih - A village in Chas Block famous for 75 foot (23 m) high tower.
- Pupunki Ashram - The last Kasba in the Bokaro Dhanbad route is Pupunki. The village, along with its fields and captive fishery ponds is squeezed between NH-32, Bokaro-Chandrapura Railway line and the Damodar river. Opposite to this village across the NH-32 is the pious Pupunki Ashram "The Multiversity". Established by Akhanda Mandaleshwer Sri Sri Swami Swarupananda Paramhansha Deva, popularly Known as Babamani. This Ashram was an age old home for Gurus who used to harbour Gaushalas with 100s of students being imparted scientific and spiritual knowledge in the past. One can still see the reminents of the past with many rituals still intact in this Ashram. This place is also a popular picnic spot these days.
- Chandrapura - A town famous for Chandrapura Thermal Power Station, a unit of Damodar Valley Corporation. It was a big source of pollution for the adjoining areas owing to the coal based generators, but things changed after electrostatic precipitators were installed in the chimneys, and large scale afforestation was carried out. The town lies on the northern edge of perhaps the most polluted river in the world, the Damodar.
- Tenughat - Headquarters of Bermo SubDivision, famous for Tenughat Dam and Tenughat Thermal Power Station.
- Gawai Dam - A good picnic spot near Pindrajora on Purulia road. It is at a distance of 15 km from the city. The picnic spot is likable because of the flow of a stream due to leaving of water from the dam.
- Pindrajora - Its a small village around 20 km from Bokaro. It hosts the only Primary Teachers Training College of Dhanbad & Bokaro. It also has a State Government Basic School and a Sarvodaya high School.
Besides the steel plant, Bokaro is also known for what the students from the city have achieved over the years. Today students from all over the state and elsewhere come to the city to make a difference to their professional lives. The city has provided myriads IITians, Doctors, and civil servants (IAS, IPS, IFS officers) to the country.
The city has a plethora of esteemed schools affiliated to the central and state education boards. The more famous ones (in alphabetic order) are Chinmaya Vidyalaya, DAV Public School, Delhi Public School, Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Holy Cross School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, MGM Senior Secondary School, Pentecostal Assembly School, PTJM Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Sree Ayyappa Public School, Kairali Springdale, St.Mary's School, St. Xavier's School and five Bokaro Ispat Senior Secondary School. There are schools run under the aegis of the steel plant management, and some run by the state government. However, the scope of quality education after schooling is limited due to lack of good colleges and this is probably a blessing in disguise, since it forces the students to look for avenues outside, and they excel in most such entrance exams. Delhi public school is the best among these
The city has many technical institutes, providing training in the field of Software, Hardware & Multimedia. There are many small institutes providing coaching to those preparing for competitive examinations and also teaching how to speak English. Most of these institutes are located in and around the City Centre, which is at the heart of Bokaro.
Sports and Culture
BSL has created sports facilities for football and athletics at the Mohan Kumar Mangalam Stadium and Senapati Cricket Stadium. The Railways has also provided a stadium for football. It also has facilities for indoor sports like table tennis, badminton, chess, billiards and outdoor sports like swimming, tennis, etc. for its people. The township is well planned and has lots of playgrounds and parks for the children to play.
Bokaro has a vibrant atmosphere for sporting activities, which have given a number of distinguished sports persons to the nation. The SAIL Football Academy students' team has three Subroto Cup to its credit. Manik Biswas and L Lalchhuan Maviah are the latest crop of Academy talents have been selected in the under-17 national football team. Peter Thangraj, the ex-Olympian goalkeeper, is a constant source of inspiration to the budding footballers of the city.
Praveen Kumar, the international volleyball player from city has won gold medals for country in FIVB Rashid Memorial Championship at Dubai (UAE) in 1996 and 1997. He also won gold medals in tri series at Mauritius in 1993 besides giving golden performance in National University Championship at Solan in 1994.
Pratima, Anita and Bela Rani have won laurels in national and international events of weightlifting. Pratima has won a Bronze medal for the country in the Commonwealth Games, while Anita fetched an Asian Games Bronze. Bela has been a Gold medal winner in the National Games.
There are facilities for learning several games from professionally qualified coaches, such as volleyball, basketball, handball, table tennis, kabaddi and khokho.
In Mohankumar Mangalam stadium, there is a perfect handball ground from where many handball players have got the peak in handball game, handball is the 2nd fastest ground (indoor/outdoor)game, many school have also represented their best at various state and national level games from there.
Bokaro Sangeet Kala Academy offers learning opportunities in many a fine art, especially classical music. The students also get opportunities to showcase their talent and training amidst august gatherings.
The clubs and community centers, along with the many social organizations, are fulcrums of socio-cultural activities in the township.
The township has a modern 910-bed Bokaro General Hospital with specialised units like Critical Care Unit, Intensive Coronary Care Unit, Haemodialysis Unit, Nuclear Medicine Laboratory, etc. The Child Care Unit of BGH has been recognised as a Baby Friendly Hospital by UNICEF. The Blood Bank of BGH has been given the status of Regional Training Centre by Government of India. It is the only blood bank in the state of Jharkhand, which has been recognised to impart training to blood bank officers and technicians in Jharkhand.
To take care of the employees working in the plant, an Occupational Health Services Centre with modern facilities has been provided within the plant premises. Bokaro General Hospital is recognized by the Indian Medical Council for imparting training to Housemen and Interns and also by the Nursing Council of India for training of Student Nurses. Bokaro General Hospital has the distinction of being the only one in Jharkhand being recognized by the National Board of Examinations, New Delhi as a centre for imparting post-graduate training to candidates appearing for the Diplomat of National Board examinations. The medical team boasts of around 200 skilled doctors and over 1000 paramedic staff.
The 10 neighborhood health centers provide primary health services to people for minor ailments and are a valuable network during free immunization drives.
Newly Dental College came up in Sector-6 of 120 bed capacity. Also Jharkhand government has planned a medical college of 1000 bed capacity in the city.
Apart from these more than 2 dozens of Private hospital and nursing home serving health service in the city. K.M memorial hospital & research centre is providing quality health care services in the Jharkhand, they are also empanelled with following groups which provide cashless treatment to the insured patients:-
• Paramount health services • Health India • Medicare services • TTK • Family Health Plan • TATA AIG • ICICI Lombard Mediclaim • Medi assist India Pvt. Ltd • Axis bank • United India Pvt. Ltd. • Genins India Limited • Alankit health care Ltd • E-meditek solutions P.v.t ltd • Vipul Medicorp P.v.t Ltd • Dedicated Healthcare services pvt. Ltd. • Star Health & allied insurance company limited. • M D India private Limited • ONGC • Shiv Vani Oil & Natural Gas Pvt Ltd • Schlumberger Asia Services Ltd. • Canara Bank. • Cholamandalam Insurance Company Ltd.
Bokaro steel city is well connected with all parts of the country by rail as well as road. Bokaro Steel City is the main station of the city situated at 12 km from City Centre. All mail/express trains including Rajdhani and Shatabadi stop here. The station is very neat and clean. The city has the best maintained roads in whole state as the maintenance is under authority of Steel Plant.
Bokaro also lies on the junction of NH-32 and NH-23. NH-32 passes from Chas and NH-23 passes from main city.
Naya More is the main Bus Stand planned for 1000 buses at a time. Bus stand is divided into platforms for each private bus. A Government Bus stand is just adjacent to main Bus stand. Besides Naya More there is two more bus stand, Basanti More in Sector-9 and Dharamshala more in Chas. Recently two transporters has started directly Volvo bus service from City centre and Naya More to Kolkata.
Private cars and taxi facilities are available everywhere in the city. Regular commuting in the city is supported by numerous trekkers, autos, rickshaws and mini buses.
Now with Durgapur, Bokaro is the first city where private Airport will be built within 3 years.