Sylhet , is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh. It is the capital of Sylhet Division and Sylhet District, and was granted metropolitan city status in March 2009. Sylhet is located on the banks of the Surma River and is surrounded by the Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura hills. The city has a high population density, with nearly 500,000 people. It is one of the largest cities in Bangladesh. The Sylhet region is well known for its tea gardens and tropical forests, the city however is currently known for its business boom — being one of the richest cities in Bangladesh, with new investments of hotels, shopping malls and luxury housing estates, brought mainly by expatriates living in the United Kingdom.
Sylhet consists of 27 wards and 210 mahallas, and has a total area of 26.50 km². During the colonial period, Sylhet experienced rapid growth and expansion of the city. In 1878, Sylhet Municipality was established, it had an area of 10.49 sq km with 5 wards (until 1995) and then 15 wards (in 1996). Sylhet was changed to a city corporation from a municipal board in 2001, and currently the city is administrated by the Sylhet City Corporation. At present, Sylhet is the district-headquarters as well as the divisional headquarters of the districts of Sunamganj, Habibganj, Maulvi Bazar and Sylhet District. The Sylhet City Corporation is responsible for the services that are provided within the city which includes traffic, roads, garbage collection, water supply, registrations and many others. The corporation consists of the Chairman and 22 other Commissioners, and focuses on the development of the city.
A devastating earthquake demolished almost the entire town on 12 June 1897 following which a modern and European model new town was built on the wreckage. Many new roads were constructed in the late 1890s and Sylhet became really connected to the other parts of the country with the establishment of an extension line of Assam-Bengal Railway in 1912-15. From the very beginning of the 20th century, the importance of Sylhet increased with the establishment of the tea industry. In the 1950s and 1960s, rapid urbanisation took place in the town, fostered by the expatriate Sylhetis and the process is still ongoing.