Neighbourhood in Dhanbad
Location in Jharkhand, India
|Elevation||201 m (659 ft)|
|• Official||Hindi, Urdu|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
An hour drive from district headquarters Dhanbad, Katras is a place where people from various religions and communities live together. Katras comes under Dhanbad municipal corporation and it is very popular for its Durga puja celebration. It is located on the bank of river Katri and is surrounded by coal mines. Lilori temple is the most important place of interest in Katras. The chief source of income is primarily from the coal mines of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), headquartered in Dhanbad City. However, as income from BCCL has been reduced and new sources of income have not evolved, residents of Katras have begun to migrate to other cities. It is well connected by railway and road. Nearest functional airport is in Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand.It has now become a dying city due to loss of Connectivity by railways and due negligence of political leaders. Qamar Takhyan, a well known novelist of Urdu and English also lives here. His novel The Heart of Amber was published in England, USA and in India in October 2014.
|Railways in Jharia Coalfield|
Katras is named after river "Katri", which flows by Katras. It is believed that people have been living in Katras for more than 200 years. And later around 1900 AD many migrants from Bihar came and settled here, as Bihar was suffering from a severe famine. Many coal mines were founded in Katras under British Rule. New Railway route from Asansol to Ranchi via Dhanbad and Katras was created in 1894 and Katras Railway station was founded around 1900 (later it was re-established in 1953 and came to be known as Katrasgarh). A train, widely known as DC passenger, from Dhanbad to Chandrapura via Katras was started in 1896, and was closed on 15 June 2017 due to underground fire beside the railway line.
Katras is located at  It has an average elevation of 201 metres (659 feet)..
Katras is part of Ward No. 1 of Dhanbad Municipal Corporation.
There are several ponds in katras like Raja Bandh, Rani Bandh, Guhi Bandh and others. Most of them however are under threat. Telia Bandh- once a big pond is now almost extinct and same is the story of all other ponds. Population burden has created the problem of space and ponds are losing out to residential buildings. This has made the water crisis more acute. Nowadays two water tankies are made near katras college.
Railway Collony have a good playground.
Katri Nadi is a small river which passes through the area. It discharges its water into the Damodar.It is a river of rainy season so most of the time water level is very low. In chhapulwa a small dam has been made from where water is supplied to the railways
The chief source of income is BCCL, the coal company. It employs a large number of people.
Agriculture is under-developed. The farm size is tiny and ancient tools are used. BCCL is now retrenching and closing its mines because of the depletion of the coal in the mines. The new professions which have emerged in the area are Coal-theft and Dalali (Agent-ship). So in the early morning you would find hundreds of cycle-wallah carrying coal illegally to the Nischitpur Railway Halt, from where it would be carried to Gaya and other areas by Passenger trains(sic). In fact some times passengers would not be allowed to board the train so that more of the coal could be carried. Administration- both local and railway maintains a deathly silence. Railway Police people can be seen to take money from coal-thieves as their cut. Dalali is an important vocation here with increasing number of people taking to it. Mind you this is not honest. What they do is, in connivance with the local administration charge money from the public for all govt. services. You would end coughing-up several times the actual amount for getting any service. So there are Dalals of local Police Station, of Block development office, of SDM's office, of DM's office. If one goes otherwise than through Dalals, the work would be completed in such a long time that one would start feeling that perhaps the whole system is dead and this when one has made many rounds of the office.
The main reason for emergence of such vacations is the lack of employment opportunities. People either migrate outside the state or open some retail shop or start coal-theft or Dalali. Now because of the lack of any other source of money in the area most of the newly opened retail shops fail miserably. Though Lilori Temple economy provides employment to some people, even there some people have captured Public infrastructure illegally and charge money from visitors for using them.
The economy is crumbling and unless some new source of income is provided the day is not far when it would be counted as sub-Saharan area.
Once a bustling market, now shops remain empty most of the time. There are many cloth merchants ranging from Retailers to wholesalers. There are many hard coke plants as well. Apart from these there is a Rajhans Refactories providing employment to over 2500 people. During Durgapuja festival and Lagan (marriage season) retail market gets some impetus but until new source of employment emerges, it will remain a town in slumber. Recently some private insurance companies have opened their offices.
In 2011 India census, Katras had a population of 2,51,182. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Katras has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 87%, and female literacy is 76%. In Katras, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Katras was established as a notified area in the Dhanbad district along with Jharia, Chatatand, and Sindri. In 2006, the notified areas were merged into the district under the jurisdiction of the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (DMC). It is allocated to the Baghmara development block of the district and has its own police station.
Water is a perennial problem. Electricity has the same story of want and deficiency. A water project started several years back never fructified because of corruption and mis- management. The water tower constructed in Dak Bunglaw was of such low quality that experts dreaded storing water in it lest it be sagging, endangering lives of local people. Thousands of hand pumps and submersibles have led to a severe fall in ground water level. People carrying water in plastic containers on bicycles is a common sight.
Buses were a main mode of travel, along with automobiles, trackers and tongas.But after the closure of Dhanbad - Chandrapura Rail line efforts are being made to revive buses transport facility. Which is certainly not a good substitute for railways which is the cheapest mode of transportation.
There were three railway stations: Katrasgarh, Nichitpur and Tetulmari. Katrasgarh uptill 15 June 2017 and Tetulmari have express line stops, while Nichitpur is just a halt station. Katrasgarh was also on a loop line and extincted because of fragile underground.Due to closure of Dhanbad - Chandrapura Rail line a huge population has lost connectivity from the entire world, moreover the road connecting Katras to Dhanbad is facing danger of being closed and will be closed soon.
Despite having a fairly large population, Katras is lacking any quality medical facilities. There are several hospitals though none have any facilities for dealing with emergencies on a 24-hour basis. Katras has no facility for intensive care and the local diagnostic centers are considered unreliable. There is rampant medical corruption with doctors recommending unnecessary tests and costly medicines. Underlined tests(in the prescription) are not supposed to be carried out. They are only for cheating patients. Tilatand Hospital of BCCL used to be a centre for better treatment, now-a-days it remains empty most of the times. This when there is no better alternative. Most people either go to Dhanbad (for minor treatments) or Bokaro(for major treatment) and finally to CMC, Vellore for better treatment. The lone train from Dhanbad to Allepey(that too taken away) was full of patients. There is an urgent need of a good hospital either in private sector or in public sector.But now due to closure of Dhanbad -Chandrapura railway line people of this place are even deprived of this facility and are left lonely to die in severe cases of medical attention.
In Katras, especially at Chhatabad the education standard is of very high grade. Most of the people in Katras are from government schools but have a great knownledge of philosophy and science and specially of literature. People can easily be seen here saying verses of Ghalib, Shakespeare, Premchandra, Kabir. Though Chhatabad is notorious for its crimes it is an ideal place for education. Besides this every year Chhatabad and Katras produce government employees in large numbers as compared to any other top places of India. Students have also cracked IIT and UPSC from this small town. Here are several public and private schools in Katras, among which are DAV High School Katras, Holy Mother's Academy, DAV Baroda, De Nobili, GNM High School, and Saraswati Shishu Mandir which attract most of the more affluent students, while students from poorer backgrounds typically attend government-run primary and middle schools. As a result of the gap between state-run schools and the more prestigious private schools, many smaller unrecognized private schools have developed in the area. These schools often have a single room for five classes and teachers are poorly paid and often unqualified. Katras is also home to Lone Katras College which, recently have a building of its own.
RAJENDRA CLUB KATRAS
Located 5 km from the city center, Lillori Sthan Mandir (Lilori Temple) is an old temple of Goddess Lilori, family deity of local landlord (Raja), who is nowadays considered an incarnation of Goddess Kali. Goddess Lilori, typical to Begal and neighboring area, is non-vegetarian and daily hundreds of animals are sacrificed on her altar.
The temple is one of the few natural picnic spots in the area, even though tree felling and government neglect has ruined much of the greenery. It also attracts thousands of people daily in the summer for weddings. It neighbours local Smashan, where dead bodies are burnt, and sometimes give it a mystic colour.
It is one of the oldest library in India which solely carries books from Hindi literature. The library was started by the freedom fighter Late Shri Ramanand Khaitan, who was an ardent political activist during the Indian freedom movement. During the British days, the library used to be the melting pot of pro-freedom think-tanks and activists. Today, the library serves the people of Katras and its surrounding areas, filling a necessary void in providing access to Hindi literature. It has a free and open access reading room which gets a regular supply of newspapers, magazines and journals.
This is a small temple of Raksha Kali in Hatiya. Raksha Kali is a very fierce form of Kali and she was supposed to be invoked only when there were calamities like war, epidemic etc. That is why the gate of the temple remains closed all the time. Earlier the gate of the temple were opened only either for the annual Mid-night Puja or on certain occasions like Kali-Puja. Nowadays its gate is being opened daily. This is perhaps either because the Local land-lord (Raja) who was earlier responsible for upkeep of this temple is not able to continue this or because the Pandit who opens its gate expects to earn some money in the way of Aarti-offering etc. Once a year the Goddess is worshiped at mid-night. Offering of some animal is given and Khichdi is cooked with the animal meat. After everybody present there has taken the Prasad of this Khichdi, all remaining materials are buried in front of the temple. There are very small temples of Goddesses like Shitla in the backside of this temple.
The oldest and most important structure by archaeological and historical point of view is Rakshas temple of Jhinjhi Pahari. This temple is made of stones only and not even small amount of any other, including sand, material has been used to join them. It is understood to be at least six hundred years old. It is said that a similar temple was situated just in front of the Lilori Temple which fell in an earth quack and that these two temples signified some treasure. There is a myth that the temple was constructed by Lord Vishwakarma in a single night.
Cricket is played by most of people, specially by teenager.
In rain season locals prefer to play football also.