Haldia: Logistics and Its Other(s)

  • Samata Biswas


This chapter is an exploration of the logistical space of Haldia, the location of Kolkata Port Trust’s deep-sea dock, and a hub of industries, infrastructural, and logistical networks, connected by road, river, and rail transport. I seek to understand how logistics and labour create space. Haldia continues to see large-scale migration and displacement, owing to both the construction of the dock and the promise of a resurgent economy. Based on ten months of ethnography, I detail the flourishing of an ‘other’ logistics in Haldia, one based in modes of survival and hustling that exist in the shadow of the city’s official logistical activities. Its central actors are marginal women, and its objects, the key cargo of Haldia port: coal.



I gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Suman Nath, Ananya Chatterjee, and Dipyaman Adhikary in carrying out the fieldwork. Uttam Chakraborty and Sk. Mujaffar were generous with their time, willingness to share experiences, information, and resources. Rupak Goswami helped immensely in the development of the argument. The participants in the Logistical Worlds project have listened patiently to the various versions of this paper and contributed to its present form.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samata Biswas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishBethune CollegeKolkataIndia

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