05 March, 2021

Ante-Natal Cramps

The new state's birth throws up many posers. Where will its government sit is just one of them.

Ante-Natal Cramps

There is a vast, barren stretch called Zero Point as you drive out of Raipur towards Mandir Hasaud. That’s the geographical centre of the new Chhattisgarh state - a good site for a new capital. The 15-km area is all sold out - speculators and realtors have grabbed every single acre for over Rs 2 lakh per unit as compared to less than Rs 10,000 two months ago. It’s the same story with Sigma, on way to Bilaspur, where land is not available even at an astonishing price of Rs 2.5 lakh an acre. Inside Raipur city, frenzied builders are rebuilding every available commercial space, while property rates in Bilaspur have doubled overnight with investment in hotels becoming the latest attraction.

"Who has acquired how much land" is, however, not the only question political leaders ask of each other at any gathering. The other equally important one is: who’d find a place in the new cabinet? Even as property sharks and political vultures floss their teeth and sharpen their claws for the day Chhattisgarh formally becomes a state and the treasury doors are...

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