Diversity and Wealth of the Municipality of Novi Bečej: Geographic Monograph with Overview of Natural Characteristics, Population, Economy, and Settlements

Explore the deeply rooted natural charms and economic potentials of the Municipality of Novi Bečej through a comprehensive geographical monograph. Familiarize yourself with fascinating aspects of the terrain, geology, climate, water bodies, flora, and fauna, while simultaneously delving into vibrant settlements and diverse industries. This informative book provides valuable insights into the richness of this unique Vojvodina region, offering a broad spectrum of information useful for education, regional planning, and preserving local identity.

Geographical Position, Boundaries, and Size of the Municipality

The municipality of Novi Bečej is located in the northwest part of Banat and the northeast part of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. It consists of four settlements: Novi Bečej, Kumane, Novo Miloševo, and Bočar. The administrative center of the municipality is in Novi Bečej.

To the north and northeast, the municipality shares borders with the territory of the Kikinda municipality, while to the east, southeast, and south, it borders the municipality of Zrenjanin. The western boundary of the municipality is formed by the Tisa River, from the Padej border in the north to Taraš in the south.

As a Banat-Potisje municipality, Novi Bečej belongs to the Zrenjanin subregion and is closely linked to the most developed economic center in Banat, Zrenjanin. Facing the Bačka region, the municipality is separated by the Tisa River from the neighboring Bečej municipality. Positioned between three significant economic centers in Vojvodina—Kikinda to the northeast, Zrenjanin to the south, and Bečej to the west—with excellent transportation connections, the municipality of Novi Bečej holds a favorable central location.

In terms of transportation, it is best connected to Zrenjanin. Through the Belgrade-Zrenjanin-Kikinda railway, the municipality is connected to the economic regions of northern, central, and southern Banat. Via Zrenjanin, a significant transportation hub in central Banat, it is connected by railway to Novi Sad. The municipality is also well-connected by asphalt roads to all the mentioned cities.

For decades, Novi Bečej maintained connections with Bačka and other parts of Vojvodina via a ferry across the Tisa and a road to Bečej. With the construction of a dam downstream from Novi Bečej and the completion of a bridge over the crest of this dam, a longstanding wish of the local residents was fulfilled. Now, the municipality is connected to Bečej via the bridge and asphalt road, where railway lines and roads diverge in three main directions: southwest to Novi Sad, west to Sombor, Vinkovci, and the Adriatic coast, and north to Senta, Horgoš, and Hungary. This bridging of the Tisa has significantly improved transportation conditions, leading to increased traffic in this direction and more frequent and successful communication with Bečej, Novi Sad, and other cities in Bačka. Improved transportation conditions are already reflecting in a faster pace of economic development, which is expected to continue.

All settlements in the municipality are connected by asphalt roads and railway to the municipality center, Novi Bečej. As the urban and economically most developed settlement, Novi Bečej enjoys the most favorable geographical position. This town is situated on the banks of the Tisa, where all land and water routes converge, and downstream, at a distance of one kilometer, there is a bridge spanning the river.

In terms of transportation, the Tisa holds special significance for the municipality, as it is navigable throughout the Vojvodina region. In the past, thanks to this river, Novi Bečej was the most important grain export port for central and northern Banat. However, the importance of the Tisa declined later, as the production structure of the broader area changed, and the food industry in Zrenjanin increasingly absorbed surplus grain.

The construction of the Danube-Tisa-Danube canal and the opening of this navigable route restored the Tisa's significant transportation importance for Novi Bečej. Upstream from the dam on the Tisa, on the Banat side, where the main canal connects with the river, a modern lock was built near the city. This lock enables the passage of both canal and river traffic. Thus, a navigational connection was established between Novi Bečej and the Banat part of the canal, the Tisa to Hungary, and from Bečej, via the Veliki Bački canal, to the Danube, which further incorporates these navigational routes into the main network of European and river canal routes.

The territory of the Novi Bečej municipality extends over the Banat loess terrace, the alluvial plain of the Tisa. The upper layers of these morphological forms are covered with carbonate and non-carbonate, sandy, saline, and slightly saline chernozem, swampy black soil, and smonica. Some parts of the territory include marshy and infertile land. However, thanks to the location and spread of certain soil types, a significant part of the territory provides satisfactory natural conditions for various agricultural production.

The municipality, with all its settlements and territories, covers an area of 609.61 km2, which represents 0.23% of the total area of Yugoslavia, 0.6% of the area of the SR Serbia, 2.83% of the area of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, and 6.11% of the total area of Banat. According to the 1981 census, the municipality is home to 19,901 inhabitants. Comparing these data with the information from other municipalities in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, we can conclude that the Novi Bečej municipality ranks thirteenth in terms of territory size and twenty-first in terms of population in Vojvodina. With 52 inhabitants per square kilometer, it belongs to the group of less densely populated areas in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina.

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