Bhiwandi is a city in the Thane district of the Konkan division of Maharashtra, India. It is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Mumbai and 15 km (9.3 mi) northeast of the city of Thane. The city is a part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Bhiwandi is a commercial city and a major trade center that connects Mumbai and the rest of India through the Mumbai–Agra highway. It is known for its textile industry, though in recent years, economic downturn has forced the closure of a large portion of the sector.
Bhiwandi lies in the Konkan coastal lowland, a region known geographically for its hills and streams. The city houses the tehsil headquarters of Bhiwandi, and it is administered by the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation. According to the 2021 census, the total population of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation area is 874,032.
Bhiwandi was first inhabited by the Koli and Konkani peoples, who lived near the Konkan sea coast. In the early 16th century, Bhiwandi had a spice port on the Kamwadi River, now Bunder Mohalla. During the reign of the Moghul Empire, the city of Bhiwandi was known as Islamabad. There is a mosque named Islamabad Masjid and Eidgah.
In the early 20th century, Bhiwandi was a small town inhabited mainly by Maharashtrians. Their most common occupations were in agriculture, fishing, and weaving. With the decline of the textile industry in Mumbai, Bhiwandi became attractive to textile companies due to its strong and consistent power and transportation infrastructure. With the introduction of electricity, power looms replaced hand looms, and in the 1930s, the city became a hub of the textile industry. The first textile loom was set up by Khan Saheb Samad Seth in 1927.
The rapid boom of the textile industry attracted migrants from Uttar Pradesh (notably the Azamgarh District, Jaunpur District, Pratapgarh District), and the population increased dramatically. Although many people of Koli and Konkani descent remain in the city, they have their own customs and speak a different dialect of Marathi.
Business and employment
The city of Bhiwandi has the largest number of power looms and handlooms in the country.The majority of the population is employed in the power loom sector.The second-largest power loom, after the one in Surat, is located in Bhiwandi. Since 2012, the city’s textile industry has been in decline, partly caused by the sudden enactment of new goods and services taxes.Another concern facing textile producers is a lack of contact with buyers, leading many to sell primarily to middlemen, mostly from Gujrat, who charge significant markup prices. Bhiwandi has also a red light area.
Bhiwandi initially developed as an industrial hub for the textile industry, but more recently has hosted other industries and logistics sectors. Bhiwandi is among Asia’s biggest warehousing hubs; its godowns are considered Asia’s largest.It is a major contributor to the logistic landscape of Mumbai and India due to its close proximity to the Nhava Seva port of Mumbai, India’s financial capital. Many e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance Industries, Snapdeal, and FedEx have branches in the city. The city is the next developed region for MMRDA, which has developed other regions such as the Bandra–Kurla Complex, Mumbai Metro, Monorail Project, and Eastern Freeway.
There are different career opportunities in food manufacturing sector, as various industries and companies are stablished and running with maximum strength. Pharmaceutical industries are also developed near Bhiwandi. The over all industrial area with different warehouses of famous brands are established in Bhiwandi.
Bhiwandi’s economy is divided into three sectors: textiles, groceries, and service (supplying, logging, and food delivery). During the COVID-19 pandemic, small hotels faced significant challenges.
Bhiwandi’s infrastructure is centered around the national highway which passes through it.
Bhiwandi has a large water treatment plant at Panjrapur with 455 MLD capacity, making it one of the largest water treatment plants in Asia.
A city bus proposal was scheduled to be realised in Bhiwandi but was canceled due to the Auto Rickshaw strike. Bhiwandi has a central railway station at Anjur Phata. The train station has a link with the central railways and the local train of Mumbai as well. Bhiwandi Metro Project (Mumbai Metro line 5) is proposed with completion anticipated in 2025
Bhiwandi's slum areas
The Study Area – Madhav Nagar and Shama Nagar are two huge slum localities of Bhiwandi near to Dhamankar Naka and comprising around 50,000 inhabitants, nearly 5 per cent of the entire Bhiwandi population.[clarification needed] These are adjacent areas and hugely populated; most of the occupants survive in huts and chawls.
Shanti Nagar and Chawan colony near Indira Gandhi hospital area are also included slum area.
According to the 2021 census, the total population of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation area is 874,032
The NH3 highway passes through the city of Bhiwandi. Only auto-rickshaws are available in the city. Bhiwandi is well-connected by all the highways and it is among the largest hubs for logistics and warehouses. The pin code of Bhiwandi is 421302. Apart from auto Rikshaws different Local bus facilities are also available to reach to different parts of city and Mumbai.
Bhiwandi has two railway stations: Bhiwandi Road railway station and Kharbao railway station, both of which are under Central Railway administration. Locals commute via passenger trains. The trains connect to central line railways at Kopar railway station, western line railways at Vasai Road Railway Station, and Harbor Line at Panvel railway station. in future Bhiwandi would have a metro also.
The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, 45 km (28 mi) from Bhiwandi.