Simdega District Profile

Simdega District is situated in the southwestern part of the state of Jharkhand.  It borders with Orissa and Chhattisgarh states.  It comprises of the area, which was erstwhile the Simdega Subdivision of the district Gumla and was created on 30th April 2001.  The district is situated between 200 10 min. to 200 40 min. north   latitude and 840 0 min. to 840 34 min. east longitude. It consists of ten blocks/Circles namely Simdega, Kurdeg, Bolba, Thethaitangar, Kolebira, Bano, Jaldega, Pakartanr, Bansjore and Kersai.

In the ancient days Simdega was known by the name of Biru-Kaishalpur pargana, which was reigned by Raja Katangadeo.  After his demise Maharaja Shivakarna subjugated it.  Munda and Kharia tribes entered into this part in 1441 A.D and Oraon tribe settled here in about 1503 A.D from Rohtas. For some time it was part of the Kalinga Empire and subsequently in 1336 A.D Harideo of Gang dynasty (Ganga Vanshi Gajapati Royal Family of Kalinga-Utkala Empire, Orrissa) was made king of Biru.  The Ancestors of Royal family still resides at Biru. At present Biru is situated at a distance of about 11 km from District headquarter, Simdega. Ganga Bishun Rohilla was famous freedom fighter from Simdega. The population of Simdega district according to 2001 Census is 514320 residing in 100049 households. Urbanization is very poor with 6.6 per cent population only and Simdega is the only town in the district. The room density in urban area is more as 6.6 per cent of the urban population resides in the 5.9 per cent households. The landscape is formed of hills and undulating platue. In the district 1194.50 sq. km areas are covered with forest Simdega district is primarily settled by the Scheduled Tribes with 70.2 per cent population, which is the highest among all the districts of Jharkhand closely followed by Gumla district with 67.2 per cent ST population. Majority of the STs belong to the Christian faith.

The population of Simdega district according to 2001 Census is 514320 residing in 100049 households. Simdega is primarily a rural district with 94% of the total population living in the rural areas. Urbanization is very poor with 6.6 per cent population only living in urban areas. Simdega is the only town in the district. The room density in urban area is more as 6.6 per cent of the urban population resides in the 5.9 per cent households. Simdega district is primarily settled by the Scheduled Tribes  (ST) with 70.2 per cent population, which is the highest among all the districts of Jharkhand closely followed by Gumla district with 67.2 per cent ST population. Majority of the tribal population in the district belongs to Christian faith, making the district a minority concentrated district. In addition to this there are about 3% of Muslims minorities as well. About 8% of the population consists of Scheduled Castes (SC) and the remaining population constitutes other caste Hindus. Major tribal groups in the district are Oraons, Kharia, and Mundas etc. A few families belonging to the Primitive Tribal group like Asur, Birhor etc are also living in the district.  

The Population distribution as per the census 2001 is given below:-

 

      Name

Population
(2001)

Male

Female

1

 SIMDEGA+   PAKARTANR

126898

63990

62908

2

KOLEBIRA

60137

30074

30063

3

 BANO

72168

35929

36239

4

JALDEGA+ BANSJORE

74400

37172

37228

5

KURDEG+ KERSAI

77025

38299

38726

6

THETHAITANGAR

76903

38190

38713

7

BOLBA

26789

13331

13458

8

TOTAL

514320

256985

257335

 

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION:
                Simdega District is situated in the southwestern part of the state of Jharkhand. As far as its border is concerned it is surrounded by Gumla district in the North, Ranchi and West Singhbhum in the east, Jashpur district of Chattisgarh in the west and district Sundargrah of Orissa in the South. The district is situated between 200 10 min. to 200 40 min. North   latitude and 840 0 min. to 840 34 min. East longitude.

PHYSICAL ASPECTS:
   Major parts of the geographical area of the district are formed of red laterite acidic soil. Upland has generally covered by Morum and Stone.  The landscape is formed of hills and undulating plateau. The inhabitants of this area depend primarily on agriculture and forest products for their livelihood.   Almost 90% of the total population depends on agriculture.  The main crop of this area is paddy. Millets, Mustard, Niger and Maize are also quite popular.  Wheat, Gram, pea, Soya beans, Groundnut etc. are also being cultivated. Total cultivated land is about 134024 hect, out of which only 16367-hect is irrigated. The agriculture is mainly depended on rainwater. The main forest products are Mahuwa, Chironjii, Lah ,Kendu leaves,Jack fruit,Black berry etc..

 

RIVER: 
               The Major rivers of this area are Sankh, Deo, Girwa, and Palamara. Among these rivers Sankh is the main river of the district.


FOREST:
               Simdega district has about 32% of forested area.  Important forest products are Saal seeds, Cocoon, Lac, Tendu leaves, Karanj, Chiraunji etc., The major trees are Sal, Bija, Gamhar, Jackfruit, Jamun, Mango, Bamboo, Neem etc.


                  Simdega is one of the least developed districts in the country . The economy of the district depends mainly on agriculture, forest products, cattle rearing, mining activities and other little commercial activities. This chapter attempts give a background picture on development scenario of the district in short.
AGRICULTURE:
       As per the survey conducted for the year 1997 –2002 five-year plan more than 60% of population is below poverty line.  Therefore, it is obvious that the majority of the families do not earn enough for them selves fed. They are deprived of   basic needs and modern standards of living. As like majority of the rural districts in the country Agriculture is the main source of income for the rural population of the District. However agriculture in Simdega is in a very primitive and under developed state. Majority of the rural populace depends on traditional methods of agriculture. Other problems in the agriculture sector include lack of irrigation facilities, absence of scientific inputs, poor marketing facilities, under developed infrastructure etc.  Statistic shows that out of 1,34,024 hects of cultivable land only 4669.83 hects of land is irrigated. The agriculture is mainly dependent on seasonal rain. Even though the average rainfall of the district is 1100-1200 mm due to lack of rainwater harvesting techniques most of the rainwater remain unutilised.
LIVESTOCK:
                   Despite a large population of milch cattle, yield of milk in the district is very poor. Lack of awareness coupled with local varieties of breed makes it less productive. Attempts are being taken to support the dairy sector and make it more cost effective. As a result artificial insemination centres and sub-centres have been opened at various places in the district.

MINES AND MINERALS:
MINERALS
Jharkhand is known for its rich mineral resources. However presences of significant minerals are yet to be explored in the District. The main mineral resources found in Simdega district are limestone and stone chips.
INDUSTRY:
                   Despite having potential natural resources and various raw materials for small, medium and major industries the sector very much under developed in Simdega. There are no single industrial unit existing in Simdega, which is a clear indicator of lack of development of the district. Tendoo leaves found in the district in major scale but all are exported to other states. The district has also having favourable conditions of Tasar rearing, Lac cultivation, Timber industry, Handicrafts, Electrical, Auto-mobile etc.    
TRADE AND COMMERCE:
                     Simdega is very near to the state capital Ranchi. It also shares the boundary with the industrial town Rourkela of Orissa and Jashpur of Chattisgarh. However trade and commerce as a source of economy is still in its infancy. The major exports of the district are paddy and other forest products. Food grains and other things of daily use are imported on large scale. Even though the district Bazar Samitee exists it lacks necessary infrastructure, staff and other facilities. Local trade and business is mainly centered upon local hat bazaars and weakly Hats.       
COMMUNICATION:
                    a) Roads: - The district has good network of roadways but road condition is not up to the mark. All blocks are connected to the district headquarter through road. NH- 23 passes through the district connecting the State Capital, Ranchi and Rourkela.
                    b) Railway: - The district is deprived of adequate railway communication. District headquarter is not rail connected. Rourkela is the nearest major railway station to Simdega is situated at a distance of 70 km.  Ranchi-Rourkela rail route passes through Bano and Jaldega blocks of Simdega district. However only a few important trains do stops there.
ELECTRICITY:
                     The district receives most of the power supply from the Kamdara Grid. The supply of electricity in the District is much poor even in the district head quarter. Out of ten blocks only six are (Kolibira, Bano, Jaldega, Thethaitangar, Simdega, Kurdeg) electrified till date. It is an area of major concern.
TOURISM:
                      The district Simdega has tremendous potential for development of tourism. Its scenic beauty, landscapes full of greenery coupled with very pleasant climate can attract both domestic as well as foreign tourists. Ram Rekhadham, Dangadi, Kelaghat, Ketungadham, Bandurga, Birugarh, Rajadera, Bhanwarpahar etc. are the main places of interest but needs to be developed by means of necessary infrastructure and service centres.
EDUCATION:
                   The literacy rate of Simdega district is 52.35%, which is below the national level of 67.3%. The female literacy rate is only 40.56%, which is below the national level of 57.1%. The male literacy rate is 64.14%.  In addition to this, the literacy rate among the minorities like Muslims and Christians and tribes is very below the district level. There is a dearth higher and quality education in the district. There are no facilities for technical as well as professional education in the district. Although Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has helped commendably in improving in the educational infrastructure, accessibility and enrolment at primary level but the situation at higher level is very poor. Access to the higher/college/technical/professional education to the ordinary village student still a distant dream. In addition to the formal government system there are a few private educational institutions also working in the district. The role of Christian missionaries in the field of education can't be over looked.