Chhattisgarh is a poignant paradox, a younger state with an historical, wealthy historic heritage, bounteous in minerals and a mining and industrial powerhouse however with a low human improvement index. Whereas the central plains within the Raipur-Bhilai-Durg belt are industrialised, urbanised and affluent, the southern tip is mired in penury; whereas Naya Raipur is an city marvel, the state altogether has one of many lowest charges of urbanisation; and with virtually 45 per cent forest cowl, the state has a serene inexperienced surroundings however with threats from a violent crimson hall. Standing on the threshold of a structural transformation, Chhattisgarh can turn into considered one of India’s most developed states supplied it balances the pulls from completely different instructions and turns the ‘paradox’ into a possibility for progress and equitable improvement.

Fashioned in 2000 as a state carved out of Madhya Pradesh, the state’s ancestry may be traced to the legendary Dakshina Kosala (South Kosala named after Rama’s mom Kaushalya) kingdom of the Ramayana. The Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, in line with historians, was Dandakaranya the place Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spent 14 years in exile from the dominion of Ayodhya. The city of Sirpur/Shripur (etymologically, town of wealth) in Mahasamund district, on the banks of the river Mahanadi, was the wonderful capital of the South Kosala kingdom. The Buddhist websites in Sirpur architecturally rival these of the traditional Nalanda college in Bihar (fifth century BC to twelfth century AD). Chinese language traveller Xuanzang writes that there have been 100 monasteries and 10,000 monks when he visited Sirpur through the seventh century.

As for geography, formed like a seahorse, Chhattisgarh is a verdant state with thick forestry and an ideal melange of waterfalls, dense forests, attractive rivers, limestone caves, serene Hindu temples and Buddhist and Jain monasteries, superior forts, palaces and far more. The majestic Mahanadi river with its varied tributaries cuts proper throughout the state. The Teerathgarh and Chitrakote cataracts on the Kanger and Indravati rivers in Bastar district are main points of interest for pilgrims. The Satkhandi caves, the Karanga ghat, the Bastar fort, the Chaiturgarh fort on the hills make Chhattisgarh a vacationer paradise that’s nonetheless not effectively publicised.

Chhattisgarh is among the many richest Indian states when it comes to mineral wealth, however mockingly, some three-fourths of its inhabitants can also be rural. The distribution is uneven, nevertheless, with the far south of the state sparsely populated in comparison with the north. The city inhabitants is concentrated primarily in Raipur and Bilaspur within the state’s midsection and close to Raigarh within the east. Nonetheless, huge public sector funding in mining has helped spur progress round Durg and Bhilai Nagar to the west of Raipur, Korba within the north-central area, and Ambikapur within the northern a part of the state. Raipur, Durg-Bhilai Nagar and Bilaspur have turn into main city agglomerations, every with an excellent industrial base.

Rice bowl of India

Half of Chhattisgarh’s landmass is farmland. The rest is both below forest cowl or else non-arable land. About 75 per cent of the farmland is below cultivation. Popularly known as the nation’s ‘rice bowl’, the central lowland plains provide grain to a whole bunch of rice mills. Maize and millet dominate the highlands. Cotton and oilseeds are the vital industrial crops within the state. Guide strategies of agriculture nonetheless prevail since most farmers are but to undertake mechanised agriculture.

Chhattisgarh produces 23,350 types of rice. Almost 80 per cent of the inhabitants relies on farming. Of the 47.4 lakh hectares of farmland, rice is grown on about 37 lakh hectares. Between 2011-2012 and 2016-17, absolutely the cont­ribution of agriculture within the state’s GSVA (Gross State Worth Added) grew at a CAGR of 12.6 per cent. Regardless of being a small state, it’s within the high six rice-producing states with rice manufacturing for the 12 months 2014-15 at 6.32 million tonnes. The state obtained the Krishi Karman Award twice for producing the best amount of rice, in 2011 and 2013. However productiveness remains to be low (even beneath nationwide common), given the very low ranges of irrigation and poor know-how.

In 2014-15, given the diversification of crops as the brand new mantra in agriculture, Chhattisgarh obtained the Krishi Karman award for reaching the best enhance in manufacturing of pulses. Different grains produced within the state are wheat, coarse cereals, maize, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, uncooked jute and mesta.

Mining hub and industrial powerhouse

It’s among the many richest Indian states when it comes to mineral wealth, with massive deposits of 28 main minerals, starting from iron ore, tin, coal, limestone, quartzite, bauxite and diamonds. Iron ore from Bailadila mines is taken into account to be among the many finest on this planet. So is the standard of coal. Chhattisgarh ranked fourth when it comes to worth of main mineral manufacturing in India, as of November 2017. Coal manufacturing reached 86.5 million tonnes in April-November 2017. The state can also be the only producer of tin concentrates (10,847 kg in 2017) within the nation, and accounts for 35.4 per cent of the tin ore reserves in India.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh (Photograph by Chandradeep Kumar)

The wealthy pure assets, coverage incentives and infrastructure assist investments within the iron and metal, cement and energy sectors. Chhattisgarh can also be energy surplus, a uncommon state which exports electrical energy to neighbouring ones. Because of this, main industrial gamers, together with the Metal Authority of India (SAIL) and Related Cement Firm, have thrived. About 58 massive and medium-scale industries, together with huge gamers resembling Monnet Ispat, Century Cement, Lafarge and Ambuja Cement, have invested closely within the state.

The sprawling capital, Naya Raipur, is taken into account India’s fourth deliberate metropolis, unfold over 8,000 hectares, with 40 sectors (21 residential) and world-class facilities. It’s the first twenty first century metropolis in India. The town has been chosen as an indication metropolis below the International Environmental Facility (GEF) and World Financial institution-assisted Sustainable City Transport Challenge (SUTP). Below the central Sensible Metropolis scheme, Raipur, Bilaspur and Korba are to be upgraded.

Manufacturing-led progress

Because the ‘Trade-Spurred Progress’ desk reveals, the Chhatt­isgarh economic system is principally based mostly on the secondary sector (industrial) with a sectoral share of 39 per cent of GSVA (Gross State Worth Added) in 2016-17 (at 2011-12 base costs). The tertiary sector (providers) contributed a excessive 36 per cent of GSVA the identical 12 months. The first sector (agriculture) is restricted, with sectoral contribution being 25 per cent in GSVA.

Inside the secondary sector, the manufacturing sub-sector is the one largest contributor to GSVA with the sectoral share being 22.6 per cent throughout 2016-17. That is adopted by agriculture, forestry and fishing, part of the first sector, which collectively contr­ibuted 15.2 per cent within the GSVA throughout 2016-17. Mining actions contributed 9.8 per cent to the GSVA throughout 2016-17. Chhattisgarh recorded the third highest per capita earnings in 2016-17, measured as per capita NSDP (Web State Home Product) at 2011-12 base costs, among the many eight ‘BIMAROU’ states (Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh and the brand new carved out Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand). The per capita earnings of Uttarakhand remained virtually twice as excessive as that of Chhattisgarh.

Intra-state variations

The physiography of Chhattisgarh is a fancy amalgam of hilly areas, plateaus, uplands and patlands (mesas), which stay intertwined with the river basins. The three-tier pure division of the state adopted by the Nationwide Pattern Survey Workplace (NSSO) consists of northern Chhattisgarh, Mahanadi basin and southern Chhattisgarh, which is roughly superimposed over the three agroclimatic zones-the northern hills, Chhattisgarh plains and Bastar plateau.

The northern Chhattisgarh area is a part of the Baghelkhand plateau and roughly covers the northern hilly area of the state dominated by the Changbhakhar-Deogarh hills. This area includes the Surguja, Surajpur and Balrampur districts. The forested, hilly district of Surguja is wealthy in bauxite deposits together with some patches of Gondwana coal. Whereas 45 per cent of Surguja is roofed by forests, Koriya district has about 62 per cent forest cowl, as per the 2017 evaluation of India State of Forest Report.

The Chhattisgarh plains, located within the coronary heart of the state, is roofed largely by the Mahanadi basin and includes the Durg-Raipur plain and Bilaspur-Raigarh plain. This heartland has the main industrial regions-Durg-Bhilai, Raipur, Korba and Bilaspur. The Durg-Bhilai area has wealthy reserves of iron ore, limestone and quartzite. It homes the Bhilai Metal Plant, awarded the prime minister’s trophy for one of the best built-in metal plant, and is India’s sole provider of world-class rails for the Indian Railway together with being a serious producer of heavy metal plates and structural metal. It’s also residence to the Borai Industrial Progress Centre, a flourishing industrial area below the ambit of the Chhattisgarh State Industrial Improvement Company.

The Raipur area has wealthy deposits of limestone and is a number one industrial centre. Naya Raipur metropolis, the executive capital of the state, is a part of it. The Korba area has opulent reserves of coal and bauxite, so it’s a concentr­a­tion of mining-based industries, aside from energy era and aluminium vegetation. With main thermal energy vegetation, together with NTPC’s Korba Tremendous Thermal Energy Plant within the area, it has been branded India’s ‘energy capital’.

The Bilaspur area hosts a lot of ancillary industrial items, because of the presence of South Japanese Coalfields Ltd (SECL). The Sirgitti Industrial Progress Centre can also be situated right here. Bilaspur can also be the zonal headquarters of the South East Central Railway Zone, considered one of India’s most worthwhile, contributing about 17 per cent of the revenues of Indian Railway. The three city centres of Durg, Bhilai and Raipur, located in shut geographical proximity, kind the principle industrial hall of Chhattisgarh. It has metal and cement vegetation and collectively kinds the Raipur-Bhilai-Durg Tri Metropolis Metro space.

Southern Chhattisgarh encompasses the Bastar plateau together with the Abujhmar hills and Bastar plains. This area geographically coincides with the Dandakaranya area, described in Hindu mythology because the land of demons or land of the exiled. The densely forested tracts of the Abujhmar hills are residence to the indigenous tribes of Gonds and Abuj Marias who stay in isolation and occupy the secluded enclaves of the Bastar area.

The Bastar area includes the erstwhile districts of Bastar, Dantewada and Kanker, which now stands divided into seven districts. The Bailadila vary in Dantewada is the best level of the Bastar plateau and the Bailadila mines on this vary abound in high-grade hema­tite iron ore. The densely forested and largely inaccessible tracts of the Bastar area are a part of the ‘Pink Hall’, infamous for being a violent Naxalite-affected area.

Chhattisgarh’s challenges

Growing inequality combined with rising financial progress is a serious problem. A UNICEF report cites vast disparities when it comes to gender, geographical location, civil strife and a rural-urban divide and availability of human assets. In line with current well being statistics, the toddler mortality charge is 46 deaths per 1,000 stay births, the maternal mortality charge is 269, and the full fertility charge is 2.7. There’s a must scale up efforts to realize improvement targets in Reproductive, Maternal, New child, Youngster and Adolescent Well being (RMNCH+A). Malnutrition is a concern-recent NFHS-3 information exhibits prevalence of stunting (53 per cent), underweight (48 per cent) and losing (24 per cent).

Though literacy and training have unfold an amazing deal, particularly by way of the non-public sector, the standard of training is a priority. The NCERT (Nationwide Council for Academic Analysis and Coaching) information for 2014 reveals that efficiency of youngsters in each language and arithmetic is the bottom within the nation. Low enrolment and faculty completion in youngsters from deprived teams are significantly alarming. There’s not sufficient effort being made in direction of multilingual training both. In line with the District Data System for Training (DISE) information evaluation by UNICEF for 2012-13, there’s excessive Gender Parity Index (GPI) on the main stage (0.96), and (0.97) on the higher main stage (GPI equal to 1 signifies parity between women and men).

The expansion of training is equally paradoxical: Chhattisgarh’s all-India early improvement index (EDI) rank on the main stage is a formidable eighth, however on the higher main stage the state ranks a low twenty fifth. Important challenges additionally exist within the civil strife-affected districts of Bijapur, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bastar and Kanker, which account for about 9 per cent of the full inhabitants and the place outreach and provision of social providers is extr­e­mely troublesome. Communities in most areas nonetheless must be knowledgeable about social programmes, and providers must be made extra accessible. The dearth of avenues for the households to specific issues associated to important providers, communities and livelihoods-especially in hard-to-reach areas-is daunting.

Comparability with BIMAROU states

Chhattisgarh has the best proportion of inhabitants dwelling beneath the poverty line in comparison with different BIMAROU states. About 40 per cent, each rural and concrete mixed, remained below in 2011-12, as computed by the Tendulkar methodology based mostly on combined recall interval consumption (aside from cash required for a minimal calorie consumption, the Tendulkar committee shifted poverty estimate to a wider definition, together with spending on meals, training, well being, electrical energy, clothes and footwear). Whereas poverty charges in Chhattisgarh had been akin to its counterpart state of Jharkhand (37 per cent), the nationwide common remained method beneath at 22 per cent through the 2011-12 evaluation.

An IPL match on the Chhattisgarh Worldwide Cricket Stadium in Raipur (Photograph by Arjun Panwar -IPL-SPORTZPICS)

The proportion of inhabitants beneath the poverty line was 49.4 per cent throughout 2004-05, which got here right down to about 40 per cent throughout 2011-12. Whereas there was a big decline of 9.5 share factors in poverty charges from 2004-05 to 2011-12, the decline in case of different BIMAROU states has been a lot increased throughout the identical interval. Attributable to this, Chhattisgarh’s rank infamously reached the highest place throughout 2011-12 among the many BIMAROU states. Chhattisgarh additionally reported the second lowest decline in poverty charges, subsequent solely to Jharkhand. That is when the common decline in poverty charges for the nation remained at about 15 share factors.

Chhattisgarh additionally reported the best proportion of rural inhabitants dwelling beneath the poverty line among the many BIMAROU states in 2011-12, about 45 per cent. That stated, speedy financial progress, particularly since 2004-05, has led to a serious dent in poverty charges. The tendencies in city, rural and whole poverty charges until 2011-12 depict a gradual decline throughout this era. The speed of decline in rural poverty charges particularly has been spectacular, at about 11 share factors. The decline has been noticeably sharp between 2009-10 and 2011-12. The city poverty charges declined extra sharply within the increase interval, between 2004-05 and 2009-10, from 28.4 per cent to 23.8 per cent, solely to rise steadily to 24.8 per cent in 2011-12, when the slowdown started, marking an general decline of about 4 share factors between 2004-05 and 2011-12.

Literacy charge progress slows

Throughout Census 2001, the full literacy charge in Chhattisgarh was 64.7 per cent, which was barely beneath the nationwide common of 64.8 per cent. Chhattisgarh ranked second among the many BIMAROU states in whole literacy attainment throughout 2001, after Uttarakhand the place the literacy charges had been about 72 per cent, effectively above the nationwide common. Nonetheless, throughout Census 2011, Chhattisgarh recorded the full literacy charge of 70.3 per cent, which was three notches beneath the nationwide common. Among the many BIMAROU states, its rank slipped to 3rd place after Uttarakhand and Odisha. Though, Chhattisgarh marked an enchancment of about 5.6 share factors in whole literacy charges throughout 2001 to 2011, this has been the bottom charge of enchancment among the many eight BIMAROU states. Chhattisgarh, together with MP, marked the least enchancment in literacy attainment.

Low life expectancy and excessive toddler mortality

Chhattisgarh ranked among the many backside three of the BIMAROU states in life expectancy at beginning, which was 65.2 years through the 2011-2015 quinquennial survey of the Pattern Registration System. The typical life expectancy at beginning within the nation was 68.3 per cent throughout this era. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had been the others with life expectancy lower than 65 years.

In toddler mortality charge (IMR) too, the efficiency has been dismal. All of the BIMAROU states, besides Jharkhand, had increased charges of toddler mortality as in comparison with the nationwide common throughout 2016 (as recorded by the Pattern Registration System). Chhattisgarh ranked fourth among the many eight BIMAROU states with IMR at 39 deaths per thousand stay births of youngsters below one 12 months, which remained akin to the charges in Bihar and Uttarakhand. The nationwide common is 34 deaths per thousand stay births.

That stated, the speed of decline in IMR in Chhattisgarh between 2000 and 2016 has been fairly spectacular, even in comparison with the nationwide common. Whereas IMR declined from 68 to 34 deaths per thousand stay births between 2000 and 2016 on the nationwide stage (a decline charge of fifty per cent), in Chhattisgarh, the IMR declined from 79 to 39 deaths in the identical interval, a decline charge of fifty.6 per cent. Chhattisgarh ranked third among the many BIMAROU states when it comes to charge of decline between 2000 and 2016. The efficiency of Jharkhand and Odisha has been extra spectacular, with 59 and 54 per cent decline in IMR throughout the identical interval.

Graphic by Tanmoy Chakraborty

Highest social sector expenditure

Chhattisgarh marked the best expenditure on the social sector-about 57 per cent-as a share of whole expenditure among the many eight BIMAROU states, as per the funds estimates of 2015-16. This was method above the nationwide common of about 43 per cent. All of the BIMAROU states, aside from UP, recorded a better proportion of expenditure on the social sector as in comparison with the nationwide common.

Chhattisgarh additionally recorded an growing development in share of expenditure on the social sector between 2011-12 and 2015-16. The proportion of expenditure elevated from 51.6 per cent in 2011-12 to 56.8 in 2015-16, a rise of 5.2 share factors. This stays increased than the nationwide common, which marked a rise by 4.2 share factors in the identical interval.

Surge in per capita energy availability

Within the age of digitisation, entry to electrical energy may be thought to be a fundamental amenity. The extent of entry to electrical energy in rural areas and the quantum supplied is a gauge of the extent of improvement of bodily infrastructure in an space. The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, the central scheme for rural electrification, was designed to offer steady energy provide to rural areas. The standing of rural electrification in Chhattisgarh, as on April 30, 2018, below this scheme, reported that 19,567 villages had been electrified; 97 per cent of the goal villages had been lined offering entry to rural households and 87 per cent of goal BPL households had been electrified. The achievements embrace 67 per cent intensive electrification of goal villages as on April 30, 2018. The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana ‘Saubhagya’ scheme reported that of the state’s whole households, 86 per cent of rural households and 97.7 per cent of city properties had been electrified as on October 10, 2017.

In line with NITI Aayog, Chhattisgarh recorded the second highest share of rural households electrified among the many BIMAROU states-86 per cent-as on April 30, 2017, a lot increased than the nationwide common of about 75 per cent. Uttarakhand fared marginally higher, with 87 per cent rural households electrified, to safe the highest rank among the many eight BIMAROU states.

The per capita availability of energy in Chhattisgarh was 928 kWh, which remained akin to the nationwide common of 938 kWh throughout 2016-17. Chhattisgarh ranked third among the many BIMAROU states, subsequent to Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, with respect to per capita availability of energy. The state has additionally recorded quicker progress in growing quantum of energy out there per head to its populace. Whereas the nationwide common of per capita availability improved from 766 kWh in 2010-11 to 938 kWh in 2016-17, Chhattisgarh improved from a dismal 488 kWh to 928 kWh throughout the identical interval. The 12 months 2015-16 recorded a large 991 kWh per capita availability of energy in Chhattisgarh, as in comparison with the nationwide common of 901 kWh. Chhattisgarh has additionally recorded the best share enhance in per capita availability of energy among the many BIMAROU states -90.2 per cent-during 2010-11 to 2016-17.

Pandvani singer Teejan Bai acting at an occasion

Entry to protected ingesting water increased than nationwide common

Chhattisgarh marked a excessive entry to ‘protected water’, which is outlined as water from protected sources resembling faucet water, hand pump and tube effectively. In line with Census of India, 2011, about 86 per cent of the full households in Chhattisgarh had entry to protected ingesting water, marginally increased than the nationwide common of 85.5 per cent. It additionally recorded the second highest share enhance within the proportion of households with entry to protected ingesting water, after Jharkhand, among the many BIMAROU states, evaluating the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Chhattisgarh marked a 22.4 per cent enhance within the proportion of households with entry to protected water, which was method above the nationwide common of 9.8 per cent. Jharkhand, nevertheless, carried out higher with 41.1 per cent enhance in such households. The situation was fairly comparable within the case of rural households.

The way in which ahead

The Chhattisgarh story is exclusive in some ways. The state’s financial progress is powered by industrial progress. Evaluating Chhattisgarh with Jharkhand and Uttarakhand, the three small states born within the 12 months 2000, the previous is conspicuous when it comes to progress led by industrialisation, significantly mining and manufacturing. Second, political stability below the management of Chief Minister Raman Singh-who took the baton from the Congress occasion’s Ajit Jogi (now chief of the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh) in 2003-makes Chhattisgarh stand out in comparison with the opposite two states.

From a human improvement perspective, the state continues to painting the everyday traits of the BIMAROU states in sure parameters resembling excessive poverty charges, excessive toddler mortality and low life expectancy however has made outstanding enhancements when it comes to entry to fundamental facilities resembling electrical energy and protected water. With a better proportion of expenditure on the social sector, Chhattisgarh has achieved vital decline in its toddler mortality charges. The state’s progress has been spectacular throughout varied socioeconomic parameters, however much more must be executed to scale back the poverty charges, verify the rising slum inhabitants within the city districts and enhance social parameters to shed its BIMAROU tag.

Most information from Chhattisgarh is adverse: violence and threats from left-wing extremism, low life expectancy and decline in toddler mortality. “That is partly comprehensible however can also be a partly jaundiced view,” says economist and NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy in his e-book Footprints: The Story of Chhattisgarh. Debroy provides that there’s loads of constructive information rising from the state now, about progress, improvement and good governance that comes with individuals’s wants and aspirations. Even violence-racked districts like Sukma and Dantewada are now not what they had been just a few years in the past. The change is clear and palpable, writes Debroy. “This is not about incremental change in Chhattisgarh. That is about taking Chhattisgarh to a totally completely different improvement trajectory, the fruits of which might be seen 20 years from now, not right this moment,” he concludes. Nonetheless, industrialisation within the subsequent 20 years wants to maneuver from the metal and mining trade to IT and the information sector, which would require a qualitative leap. Solely such hope and a constructive imaginative and prescient might help the 18-year-old Chhattisgarh state take care of the poignant paradoxes of improvement.



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