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Regional Analysis


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ASSAM


This chapter presents an overview of Assam State, Tourism Resource Analysis, Tourism Infrastructure Analysis, Institutional Setup, Ongoing tourism projects, Prioritisation Strategy, Tourism Product Planning and Proposals for sub circuits/ destinations, Block cost estimates etc.
      1. Regional Analysis

      1. Geographical setting


Assam, one of the largest states in India, is the gateway to North-East India. It is located between the latitude and longitudes of 24.30 and 28.00 North & between 89.50 and 96.10 East. The capital of the state is Dispur located in the city of Guwahati. Assam is surrounded by six other states: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. These states are connected to the rest of India via a narrow strip in West Bengal called the Siliguri Corridor or "Chicken's Neck”.

Assam is surrounded by a ring of blue hills. It is an

amalgamation of plains and river valleys. The state is divided into three broad geographic units:


Brahmaputra River is the life-line of Assam. The river with steep gorges and rapids in Arunachal Pradesh entering Assam becomes a braided river and with tributaries, creates a flood plain. The Brahmaputra Valley has an area of 56,350 sq. kms and constitutes 70% of the total area of the state. In the south, the Barak originating in the Barail Range (Assam-Nagaland border), flows through the Cachar district with a 25–30 miles (40–50 km) wide valley and enters Bangladesh. The Barak Valley has a total area of 6965 sq. kms. The drainage of the area is slow because the river has hardly any gradient. The hill Region of Karbi Anglog and North Cachar is one of the most picturesque areas of Assam. The region has an area of 15,200 sq. kms and is 20% of the total area of Assam.

Assam has one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world and consisting of tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, riverine grasslands, bamboo orchards and numerous wetland ecosystems.


      1. Administrative Structure


Assam was formed on 15.8.1947. The total geographical area of the state is 78,438 sq. km. Assam accounts for about 2.4 percent of the country’s total geographical area. Assam is divided into 27 administrative districts namely, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Cachar, Darrang, Dhemaji Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Karimganj, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Marigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, North Cachar Hills, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Tinsukia, Kokrajhar, Baska, Chirang and Udalguri.

To decentralize the authority in administrative set up a district is divided into one or more subdivisions, further divided into tehsils and blocks. There are 149 tehsils and 26,312 villages in the state. Assam has 125 towns and Guwahati is the largest city. The principal languages of the state are - Assamese, Bengali, Hindi and Oriya. Its major towns are Guwahati, Dhubri, Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Nagaon, Sivasagar, Silchar, Tezpur. Under the unicameral legislature system, it has 126 seats of legislative assembly. The state is represented in the Lok Sabha by fourteen members and seven members in the Rajya Sabha.


      1. Demographic Structure


The population of Assam is 26,655,528 according to 2001 census and is scattered over 27 districts and 26312 villages. Of them, 3,308,570 persons are Scheduled Tribes (STs), constituting 12.4 per cent of the total population of the state. Assam accounts for over 70 % of the population of the Northeast (census 2001).

  1. Demographic profile of Assam State as compared to India figures








1991 Census

2001 Census

Particulars

Unit

Assam

India

Assam

India

Population

Lakh

224

8463

266

10270

Decadal Growth Rate

Percent

24.24

23.86

18.92

21.34

% Change in decadal growth

Percent

-

-

- 5.32

-2.52

Density

Per Sq. Km

286

273

340

324

Literacy

Percent

52.89

52.21

64.28

65.38

Urban Population

Percent

11.10

26.13

12.90

27.78

Rural Population

Percent

88.90

73.87

87.10

72.22

S.C. Population

Percent

7.40

16.73

6.85

NA

S.T. Population

Percent

12.83

7.95

12.41

NA
  Source: Census of India 1991 and 2001

The District “Kamrup” is one of the most densely populated regions of Assam. Guwahati is a fast growing metropolis and the most important city of the region. Guwahati with a population of 8.9 Lakhs (Census 2001) is by far the largest settlement, while Shillong and Imphal, with population size of only 2.7 and 2.5 lakhs respectively are second and third largest cities in the North Eastern region. The State has the highest population density among NE states, of 339 persons per sq. km. As against decadal growth rate of 21.54% at the national level, the population of the State has grown by 18.92% over the period 1991-2001. The sex ratio of Assam at 935 females to 1000 males is higher than the national average of 933. Female literacy of the State rose to 56.03% from 43.03% in 1991.


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