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Debiganj (দেবীগঞ্জ) is the third biggest upazila of Panchagarh District in respect of both area and population. Nothing is definitely known about the origin of the upazila’s name. It is generally believed that in the remote past there lived an influential zaminder named Debi Chowdhurani in this locality after whose name the upazila might have derived its name.

Administration: Debiganj was established as thana in 1928. Now Debiganj is an upazila. It consists of 10 unions, 108 mouzas and 101 villages.

Area and Location: Debiganj town stands on the eastern bank of the Karatoya. The Upazila occupies an area of 309.04 sq. km. including 6.18 sq. km. forest area. It is located between 26.1167° N 88.8500° E. The Upazila is bounded on the north by Boda, on the east by Domar upazila of Nilphamari, on the south by Khansama & Birganj upazila of Dinajpur, and on the west by Boda and Thakurgaon sadar upazila. See Debiganj Map

Main rivers are Karatoya, Atrai and Patharia.

Tourism: In Debiganj, the Revenue office building and old residential house of the raja of Kuch-Bihar is famous; Also Jagabandhu Thakur-bari is another place of interest for the tourists. The town has one Dakbungalow (Rest house).

Population: According to the population census 2001 the total population of the upazila is 1,85,960 of which 94,581 are males and 91,379 are females. The sex ratio of the upazila is 103 males per 100 females as against 104 males per 100 females in 1991.

The decadal population growth rate is 16.30% and annual compound growth rate is 1.52%. The decadal growth rates of the upazila over the last half century are shown below:

Decade

Growth Rate

*1961-1974 period shown as decennial precise 1971 census postponed until 1974 due to war of liberation.

1951-1961

32.2

1961-1974*

75.0

1974-1981

20.0

1981-1991

16.9

1991-2001

16.3

Literacy and Education: In Debiganj upazila it is found that only 41.1% population aged 7 years and over is literate. Literacy rates by sex and locality of three consecutive censuses are shown below:

Locality

2001

1991

1981*

Both

Male

Female

Both

Male

Female

Both

Male

Female

Thana

41.1

47.7

34.3

24.8

33.1

16.0

18.1

26.6

9.2

Rural

40.3

47.0

33.4

23.6

32.0

14.8

17.2

25.7

8.4

Urban

52.4

57.7

47.1

43.4

51.0

35.4

36.8

45.1

28.0

* Literacy rate in 1981 is calculated for population 5 years and above.

School attendance at the age group 5 to 24 years for males is 49.9% and for females is 46.1%. In urban area the rate is exceptionally lower i.e., 46.9% for males and 43.0% for females. For rural area the rate is slightly higher i.e. 50.1% for males and 46.3% for females.

Average literacy of the population is 24.8%; male 33.1%, and female 16%. Educational institutions are 4 Colleges, 2 Government High School, 36 (non-gov) high school, Government primary school 72, (non-gov) High school 53, madrasha 8, and agricultural research institute 1. Some of the old institutions are Pirafata primary school (1904), Binoypur primary school (1905), and Debiganj nripendra narayan government high school (1906).

Economic Activities: Agriculture 54.45%, commerce 6.49%, agricultural laborer 26.87%, wage laborer 2.4%, service 2.82%, others 6.97%.

In the upazila, 77.69% of the dwelling households depend on agriculture as the main source of household income with 53.05% cropping, livestock, forestry and fishery and 24.64% as agricultural labor. Other sources of household income are non-agricultural labor (3.15%), business (9.00%), employment (3.01%), construction (0.54%), religious service (0.22%), rent and remittance (0.07%), transport & communication (2.87%) and others (3.45%). In urban area, main sources of household income are employment (19.35%), construction (2.69%), rent and remittance (0.27%), religious service (0.13%), transport and communication (7.08%) business (21.77%), non-agriculture labor (8.51%) and others (40.20%). In rural area the main sources of household income are agriculture (80.50%) of which cropping, livestock, forestry and fishery (54.86%) and agricultural labor (25.64%). Other sources of household income are non-agricultural labor (2.83%), business (8.22%), transport and communication (2.61%), employment (2.02%), construction (0.41%) and others (3.41%).

Urbanization: Debiganj upazila headquarters is the only urban area of the upazila. It consists of two mauzas and occupies an area of 8.76 sq. km. The main features are shown below:

Mauza name (with Geo-code)

Area (Sq.

km.)

House

Holds

Population

Sex

Ratio

Density

Literacy

(7+yrs)

Both

Male

Female

305-Debiganj

6.32

1875

9564

4822

4742

102

1513

54.1

994-Open Chauki Bhanji

2.44

416

2070

1063

1007

106

848

44.3

Total

8.76

2291

11634

5885

5749

102

1328

52.4

Institution: Cultural organizations are 32 rural clubs, 1 Public library, 3 Cinema halls, 50 Playground, 1 Women's organization. And religious institutions are 343 Mosques, 26 Temple, and 1 Church.

Health Centers: Debiganj has the upazila Health Complex, 4 Satellite clinics, 9 Community clinics, 8 Family Planning centers.

Industry and Commerce: Debiganj has 25 Husking mills, 8 Saw mills. Cottage industries in this upazila are Weaving 40, Bamboo work 60, Wood work 30, Welding 5, Goldsmith 8, Blacksmith 11, Potteries 40, and Tailors 60.

Shops and Markets: The total number of hats and bazaars are 40, and fairs 1. Noted hats are Deviganj, Kaliganj, Bhawlaganj, Saldanga, Dhulajhari, Fulbari, Sonar hat, Lakshmi hat, and Mallikadaha Club's hat.

Communication: Total highway is 23 km in the upazila; also it has 59 km paka road, 5 km semi paka road, and 500 km mud road. Traditional transport Horse carriage, Palanquin, and Bullock cart. These means of transport are extinct or nearly extinct. See Travel Tips

Cultivation: Main crops are Paddy, Jute, Wheat, Onion, Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Chinese almond. Extinct and nearly extinct crops are Savory, Millet, Aus paddy, Kaun. Main fruits are Mango, Jackfruit, Litchi, Papaya, Banana, and Guava.

Land Distribution: In Dehiganj upazila, total cultivable land is 25359 hectares, fallow land 288 hectares; single crop 15%, double crop 64%, treble crop 21%. Arable land under irrigation is 39%. The upazila has, 60.49% of the dwelling households own and 39.51% do not own agricultural land. Percentage of ownership of agricultural land is 42.16% in urban area as against 61.60% in rural area.

Enclave: The Indian enclaves in the upazila are Behula-danga, Balapara, Kot-bhajani, and Dahla Khagra bari.

[Source: Banglapedia, Wikipedia]