No overhead wires, a wide green belt around it and a jungle safari are just a few things that will make Chhattisgarh’s new capital Naya Raipur a world-class city. Kirtika Suneja finds out what more will the youngest capital in the country offer
The 25-km drive from Raipur to Naya Raipur is a lonely one, with barely any activity or people in sight on the well-constructed road. But, as soon as one reaches Naya Raipur, there is a flux of activity. Heavy machinery is buzzing all over the place, mounds of soil are being moved about, and labourers are busily going about the task of creating structures that will all come together to form Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh's new capital.
“Chhattisgarh was formed in 2000 and the state government then decided to create a well planned new city for Raipur, following which we zeroed in on Naya Raipur in 2004,” says N Baijendra Kumar, principal secretary to the chief minister, Chhattisgarh.
Living up to its image of new-age and green, not only is Naya Raipur the youngest capital in the country, it is also the first greenfield city planned and executed in the 21st century.
The Naya Raipur development plan is being executed in three layers. Under Layer I, the city is being developed over 8,013 hectare in three phases. In the first phase, infrastructure of 3,057 hectares for a population of 1,50,000 is being developed, while in the second phase, 3,734 hectares for 3,65,000 people will be developed. The remaining 1,222 hectares will be developed later.
However, the most striking feature of the planned capital is the absence of overhead wires, which Baijendra Kumar explains, is because all cabling is underground, be it water, electricity or communication. Another interesting fact is that the state government is putting an optical fibre network for SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition systems, for surveillance of traffic and to manage the water and underground power distribution systems in the new city. Truly new-age!
Once ready, Naya Raipur will boast of world-class amenities, including star hotels, 18-hole golf course, theme township, convention centre, IT SEZ, shopping malls, multiplexes, six-lane roads, 60,000-capacity cricket stadium, a garment park and even a jungle safari.
Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA), which is the nodal agency undertaking comprehensive development of the city, is also developing a knowledge park and sports city in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Another first to its credit is