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Chittagong

Nickname

: Chottala

Location of Chittagong in Bangladesh

Coordinates

: 22°22'0?N 91°48'0?E ? / ?

Country

Bangladesh

Administrative District

Chittagong District

Government

 -  Mayor

Mohiuddin Ahmed

Area

 - City

157  km²  (60.6  sq mi )

Population (2007 est.)

 - City

3,920,222

 -  Density

24,969/km² (64,669.4/sq mi)

 - Metro

3,920,222

Time zone

BST ( UTC+6 )

Chittagong ( Bengali : ????????? , Chôttogram) is Bangladesh 's chief seaport and its second-largest city. The capital of the eponymous district and division , it is situated in the southeastern portion of the country, and was built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River , which ends nearby, in the Bay of Bengal . The city has a population of 3.9 million, and is constantly growing. It is acknowledged as Bangladesh 's cleanest and greenest city, with much of the city being built around hilly terrains , the Chittagong Hill Tracts range situated nearby.

Being the country's primary port, Chittagong is the main route for almost all of Bangladesh 's import and export, generating a major portion of the country's annual revenue and being its commercial center. Its harbor contains extensively developed port facilities and is particularly suitable for ocean steamers. Two large environmental centers ("ecoparks"), catering to ecology and forestry -related research, have recently been built in neighboring Sitakunda and Bashkhali.

Contents
  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography and climate
  • 3 Civic Administration
  • 4 People and Culture
  • 5 Economy and Development
  • 6 Education
  • 7 Transport
  • 8 Chittagonian
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
History

Chittagong has been a seaport since ancient times. Arabs traded with the port from the 9th century AD. The Chittagong region was under the kingdom of Arakan during the sixth and seventh centuries. Before Muslim rule, Chittagong had been either under the control of the Arakans or under the kings of Burma . Sultan Fakruddin Mubarak Shah of Sonargaon conquered Chittagong in 1340. After the defeat of Sultan Giasuddin Mahmud Shah in the hands of Sher Shah in1538, the Arakanese again captured Chittagong . From this time onward until its conquest by the Mughals this region was under the control of the Portuguese and the Magh pirates. The Mughal Commandar Bujurg Umed Khan expelled the Portuguese from the area in 1666 and established Mughal rule there. The Mughals renamed Chittagong as Islamabad .

On 18th April 1930, the revolutionaries looted the Chittagong armoury under the leadership of Masterda Surya Sen . During this time the leaders of the women revolutionaries were Pritilata Waddedar , Bina Das , Lila Ray, Kalpana Dutta etc. In 1971, The Declaration of Independence of Bangladesh was announced from Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra located at Kalurghat , Chittagong .

The explorer Ibn Battuta passed through Chittagong during his travels .

Geography and climate

Chittagong is located at 22°22'0?N, 91°48'0?E on the banks of the Karnaphuli River . It has a total area of 157 square kilometers (61 sq mi). The city is known for its vast hilly terrain that stretches throughout the entire district and eventually into India . Chittagong does not contain any natural lakes, but it does have artificial lakes.

Civic Administration

Chittagong City Hall Building

Chittagong is a Divisional Headquarter for the Chittagong Division . The Divisional Commissioner is the Highest Ranking Government Official and is the chief coordinator of all 11 Districts. He is assisted with 3 Additional Divisional Commissioners. The Chittagong District has a District Commissioner. The city areas are divided into several wards and mahallas, under the jurisdiction of the Chittagong City Corporation .

People and Culture

Overhead view of Chittagong .

The people of the city are diverse and multi-ethnic, and the native Bengali and Tibeto-Burman populations have had significant influence from Arab , Afghan , and Mughal traders and settlers, all of whom had travelled in the city after arriving on its shores many hundreds of years ago. There are many Tibeto-Burman tribes that have been influenced by Bengali culture also living there, such as the Chakma people . The descendants of Portuguese settlers, known as the Firingi , also continue to live in Chittagong , as Catholic Christians, in the old Portuguese enclave of Paterghatta.

Chittagong is also home to several of the most renowned universities of Bangladesh, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), the International Islamic University Chittagong , the Chittagong University , established in 1966, Southern University Bangladesh, Mehedibagh, Chittagong established in the year 1998, the Chittagong College being notable examples. It also contains many madrasas (Islamic educational centres) within its borders.

Chittagong is the home town of Mohammad Yunus , founder of Grameen Bank , the pioneer of Microcredit , who won Nobel Prize in Peace in 2006.

Economy and Development

Port of Chittagong

The sea-borne exports consist chiefly of ready made garments, knitwear, frozen food, jute and jute goods, leather and leather goods, tea, and chemical products. There is also a large trade by country boats, bringing chiefly cotton, rice, spices, sugar and tobacco. Ship breaking was introduced to the area in 1969. This industry is concentrated at Fauzdarhat , a 16 kilometers (10 mi) long beach 20 kilometers (12 mi) north-west of Chittagong . Poor environmental standards produce unsafe labour conditions for ship-breaking workers and release toxins such as asbestos and PCBs into the environment. Chittagong is home to a large number of industries from small to heavy. It has automobile industries, refinery, pharmaceutical plants, chemical plants, export processing zones, steel meel etc. The privately owned Korean export processing zone is also located in Chittagong .

The city of Chittagong had been prolonged with neglect by the Bangladeshi government until the turn of the century when exports grew by 21.13% to an all time high of $8.02 billion. Chittagong is the site of Bangladesh 's busiest port which handles 80% of all Bangladeshi imports and exports. The strategic location of the port has allowed for interest by investors to help improve the city.

Agrabad is often known as Chittagong 's chief commercial region. Several companies such as HSBC and Standard Chartered have offices stationed in the city. Numerous investments have allowed for a construction boom similar to Dhaka . Over the years, scores of hotels, shopping centers, and other modern buildings have sprung up to change the face of the city. Ongoing developments include various multi-story shopping malls and a Chittagong World Trade Centre.

According to CityMayors Statistics Chittagong registered a GDP of $16 billion in 2005 with an annual growth rate of 6.3%. It is estimated that in 2020 the GDP of Chittagong will be $39 billion.

Education

Chittagong is home to only two of the nation's most prominent public universities, and is the site of Bangladesh 's one of the largest universities, the University of Chittagong , established in 1966. The university is located in a remote place from the city (22 km north) of Chittagong . Therefore, it has free shuttle trains service from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. for students. There are bus services for the faculties and other staffs. With a modest beginning of 4 departments in 1966, the University of Chittagong has grown to 8 individual faculties, 35 departments, 3 institutes and 3 research centres. It has 3 affiliated Medical colleges under the Faculty of Medicine and 1 Veterinary Medicine College under the faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The veterinary medical college has recently been upgraded into a separate University. As such the number of faculties at present is 7. Current student enrolment is more than 15,000.

The another public university is Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, established in 1968. CUET, with only about 2100 students and 8 academic departments, strongly emphasis in theoretical, applied, and interdisciplinary scientific and technological education. In addition to these, the university undertakes research works sponsored by local industries and national/international organizations, such as United Nations Organizations, Commonwealth Foundation, University Grants Commission, etc. As a center of excellence, CUET is not only continuing as the focal point for the development and dissemination of engineering and technological know-how within the country, but also it is involved to solve complicated practical problems of national importance faced by the planners, engineers and technologists of the country. The University is situated by the side of the Chittagong-Kaptai road some 25 kilometers off from the center of Chittagong City .

Recently Chittagong Govt Veterinary College(CGVC) has been converted into Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University(CVASU) which is consisting of one faculty with 300 students providing theoritical, out campus work based learning and excellent scientific and technological education. It is the first university in Bangladesh of this type.

Chittagong has public, denominational, and independent schools. Public schools, including pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and special schools are administered by the Ministry of Education and Board of Education.

Transport

See also: Transport in Bangladesh

Transport in Chittagong is similar to that of the country's capital Dhaka . There are various bus systems, taxis, and as well as smaller 'Baby' or 'CNG' taxis which are basically tricycle-structured motor vehicles. Also, there are the traditional manual rickshaws which are very common.

Chittagong has a station on the narrow gauge eastern section of the Bangladesh Railway . The headquarters of this railway are located here. There are main two railway stations in Station road Chittagong . There you can have different train those go to different direction (Dhaka, Shylhet,Comilla, Bhairav)of Bangladesh . Train journey is apparently cheap compared to Bus journey

Shah Amanat International Airport serves as Chittagong 's international airport. It is the 2nd busiest in Bangladesh . It has international services to destinations such as Dubai , Kolkata , Yangon , Muscat and Bangkok . It was formerly known as MA Hannan International Airport, but was renamed on April 2 , 2005 by the Government of Bangladesh. Major airlines that serve the airport include Biman Bangladesh Airlines , Thai Airways International , GMG Airlines , and Oman Air .

Chittagonian

Many Chittagong natives speak Chittagonian ( ?????????? Chatgaiã ), an Indo-European language of the Eastern Indic group. Many speakers consider their language to be a dialect of standard Bengali , the official language of Bangladesh . However, the two languages are not mutually intelligible , meaning that those who only know how to speak Standard Bengali will not understand Chittagonian speakers, and vice versa - normally the metric for languagehood among linguists. There is, however, a dialect continuum between Chittagonian and neighboring dialects of Bengali, meaning that speakers of each neighboring dialect can largely understand each other, while speakers of more distant dialects cannot. Chittagonian has approximately 14 million speakers.

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