Gazaria

Gazaria Thana with an area of 130.92 sq km, is bounded by Sonargaon and Homna upazilas on the north, Matlab upazila on the south, Daudkandi upazila on the east, Munshigonj sadar and Sonargaon upazilas and the meghna river on the west. The entire upazila is surrounded by the Meghna.

Gazaria (Town) consists of four mouzas. The town has an area of 3.27 sq km. It has a population of 5449; male 52.84%, female 47.16%. Density of population is 1666 per sq km. Literacy rate among the town people is 43.4%.

Administration Gazaria thana was established in 1954 and was turned into an upazila in 1983. It consists of 8 union parishads, 114 mouzas and 120 villages.

Historical events During the War of Liberation in 1971 the Pak army on getting intelligence of training of freedom fighters reached Gazaria at dawn of 5 May through the river route. They raided some villages and killed more than four hundred innocent people by gunshot. At Bhaberchar they also ruthlessly killed eleven tender-aged boys who out of fear took shelter inside a ditch. Subsequently the freedom fighters disrupted communication through Dhaka-Chittagong highway by dismantling the pucca bridge at Bhaterchar (in August) thereby obstructing the advance of the Pak army.

Marks of War of Liberation Mass grave at Bhaberchar.

Population 128,368; Male 51%, Female 49%; Muslim 96.46%, Hindu 3.44%, Christian 0.026%, Buddhist 0.017% and others 0.057%.

Religious institutions Mosque 230, temple 5, mazar 4. Notable institutions: Kaunia Mosque, Puran Bausia Jami Mosque, tomb (mazar) of Sulaiman Lengta, Bhaberchar Mandir.

Literacy and educational institutions Average literacy 32.7%; male 38.4%, female 26.7%. Educational institutions: college (government) 1, (non-government.) 1, high school 11, junior high school 2, primary school (government) 63, (non-government) 4, madrasa 12. Noted institution: Bhaberchar Wazir Ali High School (1930).

Newspapers and periodicals Dainik Munshiganjer Kagoz.

Cultural organisations Public library 2, press club 1, shilpakala academy 1, rural club 28, cinema hall 1, co operative society 64, women’s organisation 41, welfare association 1, playground 18.

Main occupations Agriculture 37.05%, agricultural labourer 17.2%, wage labourer 2.28%, fishery 4%, commerce 13.75%, service 12.10%, transport 1.71%, others 11.91%.

Land use Cultivable land 7,430 hectares, fallow land 24 hectares; single crop 45%, double crop 45%, triple crop 10%. Cultivable land under irrigation 29%.

Land control Among the peasants 19% are landless, 37% small peasant, 28% intermediate and 16% rich; cultivable land per head 0.057 hectare.

Value of land The market value of the first grade arable land is Tk.15000 per 0.01 hectare.

Main crops Paddy, wheat, potato, mustard, sesame, lentil, chinese almond, maize.

Extinct or nearby extinct crops Jute, kaun, kalai, linseed.

Main fruits Mango, black berry, jackfruit, banana, papaya, litchi, coconut, guava, plum, elephant apple, watermelon.

Fisheries, poultries and dairies Fishery 22, poultry 19, hatchery 4.

Communication facilities Roads: pucca 25 km, mud road 293 km.

Traditional transport Palanquin (extinct), bullock cart (nearly extinct) and boat.

Manufactories Paper mill 2, cement factory 1, spinning mill 1, cold storage 2, petrol pump 2.

Cottage industries Weaving 2, bamboo work 107, goldsmith 68, blacksmith 33, potteries 215, wood work 391, tailoring 411.

Hats, bazars and fairs Total number of Hats and bazars are 7; fairs 4, most noted of which are Bhaberchar, Rasulpur, Daskandi batgastala Mela (Madhya Bausia), Kaligastala Mela (Bhaberchar).

Main exports Potato, wheat, paper, cement, yarn.

NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are brac, grameen bank.

Health centres Upazila health complex 1, satellite clinic 4, family planning centre 8, charitable dispensary 4, artificial breeding centre 1, veterinary hospital 2.

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