Asansol is a coal mining & industrial metropolis and one of the busiest commercial centres in India. It is the second largest city & urban agglomeration in West Bengal after Kolkata and the 19th largest urban agglomeration in India. Asansol is located in the western part of the Burdwan District of West Bengal. It has a large workforce, moderately high per capita income, educational establishments, good transport connections, several housing complexes, and land suitable for industry, institutions, transport and commerce. Its hinterland is Bankura and Purulia districts and North Bengal, linked to parts of Orissa and Jharkhand states. According to a report released by International Institute for Environment and Development, a UK-based policy research non-governmental body, Asansol is among the 11 Indian cities in the list of 100 fastest growing cities in the world with a rank of 42. The name Asansol is derived from two different names, Asan tree (a species of tree found on the banks of river Damodar) and Sol-Bhumi/Sol-land (the land rich in minerals).
The stretch from Andal to Barakar covering Raniganj, Jamuria, Asansol, Burnpur, Neamatpur, Kulti and Barakar, composed of about 40 kilometres along Grand Trunk Road forms one urban agglomeration, all of which falls within Asansol subdivision area. The gaps between the contiguous urban centres are filled with collieries and small settlements. It should properly be considered as one city. The Chittaranjan Rupnarayanpur urban centre are also closely linked. For the purposes of planning the entire stretch from Panagarh to Barakar is overseen by the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA).