Atrai Upazila

Atrai Upazila (Naogaon district) with an area of 284.41 sq km is surrounded by Raninagar and Manda upazila on the north, Natore Sadar upazila on the south, Singra upazila on the east, Bagmara upazila on the west. 

Main river is Atrai. 

Atrai Town consists of six mouzas. It is an important commercial centre. Here meet the Darshana and Chilahati railway branches. The railway station, Ahsanganj, is named after the famed local leader Ahsan Mulla who was a member of the Bengal Legislative Council. The area of the town is 6.55 sq km. It has a population of 9990; male 51.88%, female 48.12%. The density of population is 1225 per sq km. Literacy rate among the town people is 48.12%. The town has a duckbanglow and a press club. 

Administration Atrai thana, now an upazila, was established in 1916. The upazila consists of eight unions, 155 mouzas and 198 villages. 

Archaeological heritage Mahadighi Mosque, Kazipara Mosque, Rabindranath's Kuthibari at Patisar, Tazia at Bankagram, Mirpur Mosque. 

Historical events A battle between a party of the Bangladesh Muktibahini and a predatory despatch of the Pakistan army was fought in village Baraikhara on 19 September1971. The Pakistani forces set many suspected homes of the village on fire and killed many villagers indiscriminately. The Pakistanis were challenged by the members of the Muktibahini at a point close to Taranagar and Gaoillah villages. Nine boats carrying Pak troops were sunk in a gun battle. Most of the members of the Pak army and several of their collaborators were bled in the battle and so were many freedom fighters. Marks of War of Liberation Mass grave 2; Shahagola Rail Station and another mass grave on the river bank at Bandaikhara village.

Population 166978; male 50.88%, female 49.12%; Muslim 87.67%, Hindus 12.09%, Christians 0.03%, Buddhist .02%, ethnic and other groups 0.19%. The Oraon ethnic people are important. 

Religious institutions Mosque 261, temple 76, church 1. 

Literacy and educational institutions Average literacy 26.8%; male 34.9%, female 18.3%. 

Educational institutions: colleges 5, technical college 1, secondary school 21, junior school 4, government primary school 69, non-government primary school 57, satellite school 5, community school 6, madrasa 20. Old institution: Bandaikhara School (1874). 

Newspapers and periodicals Two periodicals-Ahatasurand and Atrai, were once published but now dead. 

Culture Press Club 1, Public Library 1, rural club 105, cinema hall 2, theatre group 3, playground 63 and jatra dal 2. 

Main occupations Agriculture 49.9%, fishing 1.80%, agricultural labourer 25.1%, non agricultural labourer 2.5%, industries 1.42%, commerce 9.51%, services 2.86 %, others 6.91%.

Land use Land under cultivation 22.06 hectares; single crop 63%, double crop 35%, treble crop land 2%. 

Land control Among the peasants 42% are landless, 19% marginal, 27% intermediate and 12% rich; cultivable land per head 0.13 hectare. 

Value of land The market value of the first grade agricultural land is Taka 5000 per 0.01 hectare. 

Main crops Paddy, wheat and mastard seed. Extinct and nearly extinct crops Sesame, linseed (Tishi), Aus paddy, indigo.

Main fruits Mango, jack-fruit, litchi, banana and papaya. Fisheries, dairies, poultries Fishery 14, Dairy farm 7, Poultry farm 19. 

Communication facilities Roads- pucca road 17 km, semi-pucca 6 km, mud road 187 km; railways- 7 km. 

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

Manufactories Flower mill 2, ice cream factory 8, boiler 22, printing press 1. 

Cottage industries Mat manufactories 213, handlooms 58, bamboo works 322, goldsmiths 25, potteries 403, iron smiths 77, wood works 172, sewing machines 290, welding 32. 

Main hats, bazars and fairs Hats and bazars 12, fair 1. Main exports Paddy, wheat, mustard seed and mats. 

NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are BRAC. ASA, PROSHIKA, CARITAS,, Ujjiban,. 

Health centres Upazila health complex 1, union health and family welfare centre 9.