Development of Haldia urban industrial complex is traced back to the development of Haldia Dock Complex.  Founded in 1959. Haldia Urban Industrial complex has developed due to setting up of Haldia Dock Complex as a subsidiary trade port for Kolkata, intended mainly for bulk cargoes. Haldia Dock as an adjunct to Kolkata Port started its functioning since 1968 and picked up its activities with the commissioning of Haldia Dock Complex in 1977. Haldia industrial complex is basically port based. The industrial city has several factories including South Asian Petrochemicals Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) Exide, Shaw Wallace, Tata Chemicals, Petrochemical Complex (Haldia Petrochemical) and Hindustan Lever, in addition to various light industries. The port has attracted factories of foreign companies, like Mitsubishi Chemical Company (MCC). Indian Oil Refinery, Haldia Petrochemical Project and Mitsubishi PTA plant are the industrial nucleus of Haldia. A large number of companies are also being set up. The Haldia Petrochemicals is the second largest project of such kind in India. During 1991 to 2004 about Rs. 10,000/- crore was invested in Haldia complex, which accounted for 36 per cent of total investment in West Bengal.

Haldia is fast emerging as a very important industrial destination not only in West Bengal but also in the whole of eastern India. With about 400 industrial units, Haldia has an estimated investment of over Rs;. 112 billion and currently provides direct employment to about 12000 persons and indirect employment to over 50000 per sons. Due to downstream and logistic requirements there is huge number of manpower engaged in related activities like truck, trailer and tankers movement.

Haldia is in the process of being transformed into the most coveted industrial destination in eastern India, and also the “gateway to south-east Asia.” In order to achieve and sustain this position, Haldia Development Authority (HDA), the nodal development agency of the region has been working towards development to world-class infrastructure facilities.

The map of Haldia Dock Complex, industrial complex and overall municipal town area is shown in the page that follows.

Haldia is one of the fast growing urban industrial complexes experiencing above 5 per cent annual growth of population and above 6 per cent overall annual growth of workers (male 5.98 per cent and female 14.12 per cent) during 1991 to 2001 having drawn about 39 per cent of industrial investment in West BengaI the era of liberalization, privatization and globalization. Development of Haldia urban complex has been accelerated.

In 1991, Haldia’s population was 1.0 lakh as per Census of India and in 2001 it had a population of 1.71 lakh, males constituting 53% of the population and females 47%. In the city, 13% of the population was under 6 years of age in 2001. Haldia had an average literacy rate of 82.1%, higher than 80.2%, the literacy rate of the whole of Purba Medinipur district, male literacy being 90.0% and female literacy 73.2%.

The Haldia Township is bordered by the Haldi River, an offshoot of the Ganges River. The riverside in Haldia is a favorite destination for residents and one can see people strolling down the riverside during the evenings.

Haldia is also a base of Indian Coast guard. There is a hover-port to house two of the six hovercrafts belonging to the Indian Coast Guard.

Haldia Development Authority provides the necessary infrastructure for industrial and urban development, which includes land acquisition, development of physical infra structure, housing, transport, water for domestic and industrial purpose, electricity, drainage and solid waste disposal facilities and provide social infrastructure like educational institution, health facilities, recreation and amenities, commercial centers.

With the Policy of the Central and State Government and initiatives by the local stake holders, Haldia has emerged as one of the rapidly growing Urban-Industrial centre of the country.

Development of Haldia Port & Urban Industrial Complex



Genesis and Development of Haldia Dock Complex


Development of Haldia Dock is traced back to the navigational problems encountered by the latter. It is pertinent to present a brief history of Calcutta Port, which would help us understand the backdrop against which the issues relating to the development of Haldia urban industrial complex originated.

History of Kolkata Port:

Kolkata is the oldest major port in the country. But the nucleus of the present day Kolkata Port lies much earlier with the grant of trading rights to the British Settlement in Eastern Indian by the Moghal Emperor Aurangzeb. The city of Kolkata has a synergistic linkage with the port.

In 1690 the British anchored for the first time in the reach of the Hooghly River near the present day Calcutta. The city subsequently went on to become the premier port in British India.

In course of time the power to rule this vast country passed from the East India Company to the British Crown. The affairs of the Port were brought under the administrative control of the Government with the appointment of a Port Commission in 1870.

The port was commissioned on 17th October 1870 under the Calcutta Port Act. In 1886 a separate oil wharf was set up at Baj Baj. The impound dock at Kidderpore (KDP) became operational in 1893. In 1925 four riverside jetties and a coaling jetty were constructed at Garden Reach. In 1928 the second dock system, King George’s Dock now known as Netaji Subhash Dock (KDP) came up in the same area.

The Kolkata Port was initially conceived to promote and protect the British Colonial interest. But with the advent of freedom in 1947, the Port was called upon to play the opposite role to champion the national cause. The Commissioners for the Port of Kolkata ran the port till January 1975 when Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, came into force.

Development of Haldia Dock Complex:

There was wide argument among experts that port facilities need improvement, partly to cater to the requirement of growing volume of trade, and partly to economies the cost of sea transporting fact, Gross (1967) argued that more than 75.0 percent of the total tonnage of sea-borne cargo all over the world consisted of oil or dry bulk commodities (such as grain, ore, coal, sugar, and fertilizer) and these were carried in ships in which the increased size would lead to a market economy in operating cost. Hence the construction of a new dock system at Haldia, midway between the sea and Calcutta Port, was planned.

A number of investigations were successively made into the need, justifiability and prospect of the development of a port at Haldia. Experts suggested that investigations should be made to select a suitable site for a subsidiary or satellite port where deep draft vessels could come. It was expected that with rapid expansion of industrialization in the area the trade passing through the port of Calcutta would considerably increase and continue to do so for many years to come. To cope with this Calcutta Port required additional port handling facilities and hence the establishment of an auxiliary port nearer the sea was necessary.

An immediate necessity was the construction of a river side jetty for the handling of crude oil and petroleum products so that the refinery at Barauni would be supplied with crude. The construction on the oil jetty commenced in June 1965 and was completed in July 1968 along with a pipeline connecting the jetty with the Barauni Refinery. The civil construction work of the lock and dock berths started in January 1968 and the dock system was opened to internatical shipping in 1977. Growth of Haldia Dock Complex that started its functioning in 1968 got momentum with the commissioning of Haldia Port in 1977.

The new deep water modern dock system was established at Haldia, 56.5 nautical miles downstream of Calcutta aimed to effectively serve the needs of trade and industry in keeping with the technological changes in shipping and cargo handling practices to handle modern bulk carriers and oil tankers. A full-fledged container terminal has also been developed for most expeditious movement of general cargoes in containers. It was the first comprehensive port project in India, providing composite cargo handling facilities and lending support to the growth of port oriented industry.

The Port at Haldia was expected to be supplementary to the Port of Kolkata for accommodating the larger ships round the year, unhampered by the tortuous bends or bars in the river Hooghly. Haldia industrial complex evolved based on the development of the port facilities. The port being an economic infrastructure served to handling coastal and overseas traffic and thus served to be a sine qua non for development of the region, development implying change to describe the process of economic and social transformation. It provided a direct access to world markets and an excellent opportunity for developing trade with a wide range of countries, without costly intermediaries and was also an excellent source of employment of workmen and commercial personnel in numerous activities connected with administration, port operations and maintenance, and with various auxiliary services to cargo and vessels.

  Table 2-Some Data Relating to Haldia Dock Complex        


Number of berths


Quay length (m.)


Apron width (m).


Depth along berth (m.)


Open area of berth (Sq.m.)


Covered storage area (sq.m.)


Maximum size of ship (m.)


Ground slot capacity


Location of CFS

Berth 9

Storage Capacity


Refer points (can be extended)


Stuffing / destuffing done by