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Sunamganj District ( sylhet division) with an area of 3669.58 sq km, is bounded by Khasia and Jaintia hills (India) on the north, habiganj and kishoreganj districts on the south, sylhet district on the east, netrokona and greater mymensingh districts on the west. Annual average temperature: maximum 33.2°C and minimum 13.6°C; annual rainfall 3334 mm. There are many haors and beels in Sunamganj.

Sunamganj (Town) stands on the bank of the river Surma. It was established in late 18th century. It consists of 9 wards and 44 mahallas. The town has an area of 22.16 sq km. It has a population of 49373; male 52.70%, female 47.30%; density of population is 2228 per sq km. Literacy rate among the town people is 58.8%. The town has five dakbungalows.

Administration Sunamganj mahakuma (sub-division) was upgraded to a district in 1984. This district consists of 10 upazilas, 4 municipalities, 36 wards, 139 mahallas, 82 union parishads, 1711 mouzas and 2813 villages. The upazilas are bishwamvarpur , chhatak , derai , dharmapasha , dowarabazar , jagannathpur , jamalganj , tahirpur , sullah and sunamganj sadar .

Archaeological heritage Bagbari Tila (Chhatak upazila), Selbarash Jami Mosque, Sukhair Kalibari Temple, Kahala Kalibari, Maheshkhala Kalibari (Dharmapasha upazila), remnants of the palace of Raja Bijoy Singh (16th century, Tahirpur upazila).

Historical events Nankar Rebellion of Sukhair in 1922-23 is notable. Many political leaders and activists of Sunamganj were involved in the anti-British movement. The leftist movement spread over the district after the partition of 1947. During the war of liberation many encounters were held between the freedom fighters and the Pak army; Sunamganj was liberated on 6 December 1971.

In 1336 BS a devastating flood occurred as a result of breaking down a damn in Manipur. This flood is popularly known as 'White Water Flood'. A pernicious earthquake on 12 June 1897 caused heavy loss of lives and establishments.

Marks of War of Liberation Mass killing site at Sreeramshi and Raniganj villages of Jagannathpur Upazila; mass grave and mass killing site at a place near the T&T Office of Derai Upazila; Sunamganj memorial; memorial plank with names of great martyrs engraved, memorial plank at Raniganj, Shikha Satera (Seventeen Flames) and the Central Memorial at Chhatak.

Population 1968669; male 50.89%, female 49.11%; Muslim 83.62%, Hindu 15.95%, others 0.43% ethnic nationals 6,643 (Manipuri, Khasia, Garo and Hajong).

Religious institutions Palash Jami Mosque (Bishwamvarpur upazila), Makhraj Mosque, tomb of Baba Shah, temple of Jagannath Jeou (Derai upazila), Maddianagar Mosque, Selbarash Jami Mosque, Dharmapasha Jami Mosque, tomb of Nangta (nude) Pir , Kahala Kalibari, Maheshkhala Kali Mandir, Sukhair Kali Mandir (Dharmapasha upazila), Ikardai Jami Mosque, Vasudev Mandir (Jagannathpur upazila), Sreehail Sabbari Jami Mosque, Sree Sree Ramkrishna Gosai Akhra (1750), Bahra Sumeshwari Mandir (Sullah upazila), Pagla Jami Mosque, Patharia Baishnab Akhra (Sunamganj Sadar upazila), Tahirpur Jami Mosque, Badamghata Jami Mosque, mazar of Shah Arifin Saheb are notable.

Literacy and educational institutions Average literacy 22.3%; male 27.5%, female 17.6%. Educational institutions: college 22, secondary school 126, primary school (government) 664, primary school (private) 312, madrasa 104, satellite school 94, community school 56, technical institute 2, PTI 1, music school 5.

Newspapers and periodicals Weekly Grambanglar Katha, Weekly Shajan, Weekly Sunamganj Sangbad, Weekly Sunamganj Barta, Weekly Sunamganj, Weekly Vati Bangla, Daily Haor Barta, Weekly Aunal; periodicals-Dishari (1993), Khudrapat Rudrapran (1998), Sreetir Olinde (1998), Arunadaiy and Haorer Dheow; extinct: Surma (sixties), Suchayan, Prattayan, Sanko, Weekly Jamalganjer Dak, Weekly Jamalganj Parikkrama, Weekly Sunam, Weekly Din Jai, Weekly Sunamganjer Kagoj.

Cultural organisations Club 10, rural club 363, public library 10, cinema hall 13, cultural organisation (theatre and music) 38, theatre stage 4, jatra party 4, literary society 7, women's organisation 113, Shilpakala Academy 1, Shishu Academy 1, playground 58, stadium 1.

Main occupations Agriculture 43.43%, fishing 3.34%, agricultural labourer 24.10%, wage labourer 5.58%, commerce 7.44%, service 3.8%, others 12.31%.

Land use Arable land 294021 hectares, fallow land 51752 hectares.

Land control Among the peasants, 33% are landless, 26% small, 21% intermediate and 20% rich.

Value of land Market value of first grade arable land is about Tk 5000 to 7,500 per 0.01 hectare.

Main crops Boro paddy.

Main fruits Mango, orange.

Fisheries, dairies, poultries Fishery 604, dairy 105, poultry 697, hatchery 6.

Communication facilities Roads: pucca 150 km, semi pucca 52 km and mud road 2279 km; railways 20 km; waterways 98 nautical mile.

Traditional transport Palanquin, bullock cart. These means of transport are extinct or nearly extinct.

Manufactories Chhatak Cement Factory (1940), Chhatak Pulp and Paper Mills (1959) are most notable; other manufactories include flour mill, ice factory, rice mill, saw mill, cold storage and fish processing, printing presses.

Cottage industries Weaving. goldsmith, blacksmith, potteries, bamboo & cane work, pearl work, tailoring, welding.

Mineral resources Natural gas, limestone and stone.

Hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars are 193, fair 24.

Main exports Paddy, fish, dry fish, orange, limestone, cement, paper pulp.

NGO activities brac , grameen bank , asa , proshika , Shova, Masjid Mission, BARD, Shawnirvar Bangladesh, BAOPA, CNRS, Vision 2000, CARE, HEED Bangladesh.

Health centres Upazila health centre 8, hospital (government and private) 23, health & family welfare centre 6, family planning centre 31, satellite clinic 9, charitable dispensary 15. TB clinic 2 (operated by BRAC) and leprosy treatment centre 2 (operated by HEED Bangladesh ). [Ashfaq Hossain]

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