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About Berhampur Municipal Corporation
Berhampur is the oldest city of Ganjam District in the State of Orissa.  It is mainly a trading centre for Southern Orissa having its influence over eight districts.  The city was declared as a Municipality in the year 1867.  It is the fourth largest city of Orissa with population of 210418 in 1991 & 307792 in 2001.  The present population (2009) is estimated to be 0.38 million.  It has been declared as a Class-I Town Category as per 2001 Census.  Berhampur City is famous for its widespread human resources in extremely important and decision making positions all over the globe.  The trading volume is also growing day by day.

The name Berhampur is an anglicized form of ‘Brahmapur’ which etymologically means “The Abode of Brahma, the Creator”.  By virtue of its close proximity to Andhra Pradesh, Coastline of Bay of Bengal, Gopalpur Port and Visakhapatnam it has become a centre of attraction for multiethnic people in persuit of better residential zones, education and to some extent for employment in unorganized sectors delivering various services and goods.

Berhampur city is situated at 19o 20’ N Latitude 84o 50’ E Longitude.  Its average elevation above Mean Sea Level is 24.000 m.  It is surrounded by vast cultivable plains.  The entire plain is bounded in the West & North by a range of hillocks containing Granite Rocks of Igneous Origin.  These Granite Rock belts are also another major source of employment and revenue.  The plains have mild slope towards Bay of Bengal.

The city is well connected by roads and rail network.  The Howrah-Chennai Railway line of South-Eastern Railway/ East Coast Railway passes through the city making Berhampur as the busiest station in this region.  Similarly N.H. 5 runs close to the city providing direct linkage to Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam & Chennai.  N.H. 217 also runs through this city.  The city is well connected with districts through S.H. No.7, 17 & 65. The State Capital, Bhubaneswar, is situated at a distance of 180 kms  from the city along N.H. 5.  The nearest sea port is situated at Gopalpur at a distance of 15 kms from the city and the Port of Visakhapatnam is located at a distance of 250 kms only.
A helipad has been constructed in the outskirt of the city at Rangeilunda where small aircrafts and helicopters can land & take off safely.  It is situated at a distance of 10 kms from the city.

River Rushikulya is called the “Ganga” of Ganjam.   It flows at a distance of about 30 kms from the city and discharges into the Bay of Bengal near Gopalpur port.  The city has a good number of big Tanks/Lakes.   High humidity prevails in the atmosphere both in summer & rainy seasons.  The climate of the city is pleasant and soothing due to its close proximity to Bay of Bengal. Maximum summer temperature is 40o C whereas minimum winter temperature is 22o C.  The mean daily temperature varies from 33o C to 38o C.   May is the hottest month in the year whereas December is the coldest.  The average annual rainfall is 1250 mm and the region receives Monsoon and torrential rainfall for four months only in a year from July to October.

The regional setting of any city not only forms the basis for its further development but also influences the socio-economic activities and standards of the region.  Berhampur city cannot be an exception.  The topography, geo-physical features and climate of the city are just excellent for indefinite expansion and development.  The area, as per seismic records available, is less prone to natural hazards like Earthquake, Volcano eruption and Tsunami.  But, it is very vulnerable to cyclones which generally occur during June to October.  One Super-Cyclone which occurred during October, 1999 disrupted the total infrastructure set-up and socio-economic equilibrium in the area. The city is still thriving to recover the losses.  The Government is very keen to save its people and property from such hazards in future by constructing cyclone shelters at convenient locations. The Government is also ensuring emergency services for Food, Light, Water, Health, Communication, etc., for any future natural calamity under Disaster Management Programs.

Since long this City exhibits great commercial importance for the Districts of Ganjam, Boudh, Phulbani, Koraput, Rayagada, Nawrangpur, Malkangiri & Gajapati of Orissa. A large number of private small scale industries have been set up in the city. The industrial complex such as Indian Rare Earths Ltd. is located very near to the city and there is also a proposal in the pipe line for establishing a Titanium Dioxide Plant near Gopalpur. One Steel Plant is likely to be established at Gopalpur which is situated at about 15 kms from Berhampur city. Similarly, improvement and expansion of Gopalpur Port are also being done meet the infrastructure requirements for the industries. An Air Defence College is located near the city, thereby, making it strategically important.

The city has many educational institutions like Medical College, Law College, Engineering Schools and Colleges, etc. Berhampur University is also located nearby. It has got a number of Recreation Centres, Two Stadiums, Cinema Halls, Libraries and other Cultural Centres.

Berhampur city has a present population of about 0.385 Million(2009). The gender-wise population ratio consists of 930 females to every 1000 males. Population of Berhampur city comprises of various ethnic classes. The economic stratification parameters show that 36% of the population of the city of Berhampur are below the poverty line, 45% in economically weaker section zone and the balance 19% belong to high and middle income groups. The literacy rate of Berhampur city is 82.25% which is a fairly good figure.

It is a major state level trading centre for Spices, Tamarind, Clothes, etc. Berhampur city is famous for manufacture and trading of various types of Patto Sarees and Bamboo-Straw handicrafts. The city is, therefore, popularly known as “Silk City”. This sector can be developed to a great extent to be a numero-uno pioneer which would boost the economy of people depending on such type of cottage and small scale industries.

The nearby beautiful heritage centres such as Mahuri Kalua Thakurani, Vairabi, Dhabaleswar, etc. will prove to be the best areas for exhibition-cum-sale of the Cottage Industry Products. So, better connectivity and efficient modes of Public Transport System to these heritage areas are essential. Besides, the city itself has ample potential for advertisement & exhibition to promote the growth of these industries. People on different occasions like Durga Puja Maha Sivaratri, Janmastami, Ratha Yatra, Makar Sankranti, Kartika Purnima, Id-ul-Fitre and Christmas, etc., assemble in the city and engage themselves in trading and religious activities. There is 100% communal harmony in the city and the people of Berhampur are committed to maintain that.

In the process of preparing the future land use plan, an important element is to determine the limit of the future urban area adjoining the present Municipal Corporation limit. This was roughly done by applying a desired gross population density standard of 25 – 30 persons per acre for wards / areas having present density less than that. The demographic features of the city is discussed in the following paragraphs. It is found that the average density would exceed 70 persons per acre due to multistoried apartments and centralized commercial centres. However, the city is expected to expand, as happening now, beyond the Municipal Corporation Territory due to which the population density is expected to stabilise.