Chhattisgarh (Chattīsgaṛh, translation: Thirty-Six Forts) is one of the 29 states of India, located in the centre-east of the country. It is the tenth-largest state in India, with an area of 135,198.5 km2 (52,200.4 sq mi). With a population of 25.5 million, Chhattisgarh is the 17th-most populated state in the country. A resource-rich state, it is a source of electricity and steel for the country, accounting for 15% of the total steel produced. Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest-developing states in India.
The state was formed on 1 November 2000 by partitioning 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking southeastern districts of Madhya Pradesh. The capital city is Raipur. Chhattisgarh borders the states of Madhya Pradesh in the northwest, Maharashtra in the southwest, Telangana in the south (Bhupalpally district),Odisha in the southeast, Jharkhand in the northeast and Uttar Pradesh in the north. Currently the state comprises 27 districts.
There are several opinions as to the origin of the name Chhattisgarh, which in ancient times was known as Dakshina Kosala (South Kosala). "Chhattisgarh" was popularised later during the time of the Maratha Empire and was first used in an official document in 1795.
It is claimed that Chhattisgarh takes its name from the 36 ancient forts in the area. (chhattis—thirty-six, and garh—fort.) The old state had 36 demesnes (feudal territories): Ratanpur, Vijaypur, Kharound, Maro, Kautgarh, Nawagarh, Sondhi, Aukhar, Padarbhatta, Semriya, Champa, Lafa, Chhuri, Kenda, Matin, Aparora, Pendra, Kurkuti-kandri, Raipur, Patan, Simaga, Singarpur, Lavan, Omera, Durg, Saradha, Sirasa, Menhadi, Khallari, Sirpur, Figeswar, Rajim, Singhangarh, Suvarmar, Tenganagarh and Akaltara. However, experts do not agree with this explanation, as 36 forts cannot be archaeologically identified in this region.
Another view, more popular with experts and historians, is that Chhattisgarh is the corrupted form of Chedisgarh which means Raj or "Empire of the Chedis". In ancient times, Chhattisgarh region had been part of the Chedi dynasty of Kaling, in modern Odisha. In the medieval period up to 1803, a major portion of present eastern Chhattisgarh was part of the Sambalpur Kingdom of Odisha.
The northern and southern parts of the state are hilly, while the central part is a fertile plain. The highest point in the state is the Gaurlata. Deciduous forests of the Eastern Highlands Forests cover roughly 44% of the state. The state animal is the van bhainsa, or wild asian buffalo. The state bird is the pahari myna, or hill myna. The state tree is the Sal (Sarai) found in Bastar division.
In the north lies the edge of the great Indo-Gangetic plain. The Rihand River, a tributary of the Ganges, drains this area. The eastern end of the Satpura Range and the western edge of the Chota Nagpur Plateau form an east-west belt of hills that divide the Mahanadi River basin from the Indo-Gangetic plain. The outline of Chhattisgarh is like a sea horse.
The central part of the state lies in the fertile upper basin of the Mahanadi river and its tributaries. This area has extensive rice cultivation. The upper Mahanadi basin is separated from the upper Narmada basin to the west by the Maikal Hills (part of the Satpuras) and from the plains of Odisha to the east by ranges of hills. The southern part of the state lies on the Deccan plateau, in the watershed of the Godavari River and its tributary, the Indravati River. The Mahanadi is the chief river of the state. The other main rivers are Hasdo (a tributary of Mahanadi), Rihand, Indravati, Jonk, Arpa and Shivnath. It is situated in the east of Madhya Pradesh.[clarification needed]
The natural beauty of Koriya in Chhattisgarh includes dense forests, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. Koriya was a princely state during the British rule in India. Koriya is also known for the rich mineral deposits. Coal is found in abundance in this part of the country. The dense forests are rich in wildlife.
The Amrit Dhara Waterfall, Koriya's main attraction, is a natural waterfall which originates from the Hasdo River. The fall is situated at a distance of seven kilometres from Koriya. The waterfall is ideally located on the Manendragarh-Baikunthpur road. The Amrit Dhara Waterfall falls from a height of 27 m. The waterfall is about 3–4.5 m wide. The point where the water falls to the ground, a cloudy atmosphere is formed all around. Chirimiri is one of the more popular places, known for its pristine beauty, and healthy climate in Chhattisgarh.
The climate of Chhattisgarh is tropical. It is hot and humid because of its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and its dependence on the monsoons for rains. Summer temperatures in Chhattisgarh can reach 45 °C (113 °F). The monsoon season is from late June to October and is a welcome respite from the heat. Chhattisgarh receives an average of 1,292 millimetres (50.9 in) of rain. Winter is from November to January and it is a good time to visit Chhattisgarh. Winters are pleasant with low temperatures and less humidity.
The temperature varies between 30 and 45 °C (86 and 113 °F) in summer and between 0 and 25 °C (32 and 77 °F) during winter. However, extremes in temperature can be observed with scales falling to less than 0 °C to 49 °C.
Chhattisgarh has coverage of mostly two-lane or one-lane roads which provides connectivity to major cities. Eleven national highways passing through the state which are together 3078.40 km in length. However, most national highways are in poor condition and provide only two lanes for slow moving traffic. Many national highways are on paper and not fully converted into four-lane highway. This includes 130A New, 130B New, 130C New, 130D New, 149B New, 163A New, 343 New, 930New.. Other national highway includes NH 6, NH 16, NH 43, NH 12A, NH 78, NH 111, NH 200, NH 202, NH 216, NH 217, NH 221, NH30NH 930 NEW. The state highways and major district roads constitute another network of 8,031 km.
Chhattisgarh has one of the lowest densities of National Highway in Central and South India (12.1 km/100,000 population) which is similar to the North Eastern state of Assam.
Almost the entire railway network spread over the state comes under the geographical jurisdiction of the South East Central Railway Zone of Indian Railways centred around Bilaspur, which is the zonal headquarters of this zone. The main railway junctions are Bilaspur Junction, Durg and Raipur, which is also a starting point of many long distance trains. These three junctions are well-connected to the major cities of India.
The state has the highest freight loading in the country and one-sixth of Indian Railway's revenue comes from Chhattisgarh. The length of rail network in the state is 1,108 km, while a third track has been commissioned between Durg and Raigarh. Construction of some new railway lines are under process. These include Dalli-Rajhara–Jagdalpur rail line, Pendra Road-Gevra Road Rail Line rail line, Raigarh-Mand Colliery to Bhupdeopur rail line and Barwadih-Chirmiri rail line. Freight/goods trains provide services mostly to coal and iron ore industries in east-west corridor (Mumbai-Howrah route). There is lack of passenger services to north and south of Chhattisgarh. Current train stations are mostly over crowded and not maintained well for passengers.
Rail network expansion
Presently, Chhattisgarh has a 1,187-kilometre-long (738 mi) railway line network, which is less than half of the national average of rail density.
The construction of a new 546-km-long rail network includes the Rajhara-Rowghat rail project, 311km-long east and east-west rail corridors and the 140km-long Rowghat-Jagdalpur rail project.
The Chhattisgarh government has decided to form a joint venture company with the Ministry of Railways for the expansion of railway tracks in the state. The decision to form a joint venture company with the Ministry of Railways was taken during a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by the Chief Minister on 5 February 2016. The state government will have a 51% share and the railways the remaining 49% share.
Major railway heads are Bilaspur, Raipur, Durg, Champa, Raigarh, Rajnandgaon.
Major railway stations of Chhattisgarh
- Bilaspur Junction Railway Station
- Durg Junction Railway Station
- Raipur Junction Railway Station
- Raigarh Railway Station
- Korba Railway Station
- Champa Junction Railway Station
- Rajnandgaon Railway Station
- Dongargarh Railway Station
- Gevra Road Railway Station
- Pendra Road Railway Station
The air infrastructure in Chhattisgarh is small compared to other states. Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur is its sole airport with scheduled commercial air services. A massive reduction in sales tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from 25 to 4% in Chhattisgarh in 2003 has contributed to a sharp rise in passenger flow. The passenger flow has increased by 58% between 2011 and November 2012.
Other major areas in the north and south of state, and industrial cities such as Bilaspur, Korba, Raigarh are not served by any airline. The majority of population in these area is not able take advantage of low-cost airlines due to poor road connectivity and high cost of taxi fares. The State Government has signed a MOU with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in July 2013 to develop Raigarh Airport as the state's second airport for domestic flights.
- Bilaspur Airport, Bilaspur
- Kodatarai Airport, Raigarh
- Jagdalpur Airport, Jagdalpur
- Nandini Airport, Bhilai
- Baikunth Airstrip, Baikunth
- JSPL's Airstrip, Raigarh
- Darima Airstrip, Ambikapur
- Korba Airstrip, Korba
- Agdih Airstrip, Jashpur
- Dondi Airstrip, Dondi, Durg
- Kota Road Airstrip, MohanBhatha, Bilaspur
- Mulmula Airtrip, Mulmula Janjgir-Champa
Ancient and medieval history
In ancient times, this region was known as Dakshina Kosala. This area also finds mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Between the sixth and twelfth centuries, Sharabhpurias, Panduavanshi, Somavanshi, Kalachuri and Nagavanshi rulers dominated this region. The Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was invaded by Rajendra Chola I and Kulothunga Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century.
Colonial and post-independence history
See also: Chhattisgarh Division
Chhattisgarh was under Maratha rule (Bhonsales of Nagpur) from 1741 to 1845 AD. It came under British rule from 1845 to 1947 as the Chhattisgarh Division of the Central Provinces. Raipur gained prominence over the capital Ratanpur with the advent of the British in 1845. In 1905, the Sambalpur district was transferred to Odisha and the estates of Surguja were transferred from Bengal to Chhattisgarh.
The area constituting the new state merged into on 1 November 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 and remained a part of that state for 44 years. Prior to its becoming a part of the new state of Madhya Pradesh, the region was part of old Madhya Pradesh State, with its capital at Bhopal. Prior to that, the region was part of the Central Provinces and Berar (CP and Berar) under the British rule. Some areas constituting the Chhattisgarh state were princely states under the British rule, but later on were merged into Madhya Pradesh.
Separation of Chhattisgarh
The present state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh on 1 November 2000. The demand for a separate state was first raised in the 1920s. Similar demands kept cropping up at regular intervals; however, a well-organised movement was never launched. Several all-party platforms were formed and they usually resolved around petitions, public meetings, seminars, rallies and strikes. A demand for separate Chhattisgarh was raised in 1924 by the Raipur Congress unit and also discussed in the Annual Session of the Indian Congress at Tripuri. A discussion also took place of forming a Regional Congress organisation for Chhattisgarh. When the State Reorganisation Commission was set up in 1954, the demand for a separate Chhattisgarh was put forward, but was not accepted. In 1955, a demand for a separate state was raised in the Nagpur assembly of the then state of Madhya Bharat.
The 1990s saw more activity for a demand for the new state, such as the formation of a statewide political forum, especially the Chhattisgarh Rajya Nirman Manch. Chandulal Chadrakar led this forum, several successful region-wide strikes and rallies were organised under the banner of the forum, all of which were supported by major political parties, including the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government sent the redrafted Separate Chhattisgarh Bill for the approval of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, where it was once again unanimously approved and then it was tabled in the Lok Sabha. This bill for a separate Chhattisgarh was passed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, paving the way for the creation of a separate state of Chhattisgarh. The President of India gave his consent to the Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000 on 25 August 2000. The Government of India subsequently set 1 November 2000, as the day the state of Madhya Pradesh would be divided into Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Governance and administration
Main articles: Government of Chhattisgarh and Legislative Assembly of Chhattisgarh
The State Legislative assembly is composed of 90 members of the Legislative Assembly. There are 11 members of the Lok Sabha from Chhattisgarh. The Rajya Sabha has five members from the state.
Main articles: List of districts of Chhattisgarh and Districts of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh comprises 27 districts. The following are the list of the districts of Chhattisgarh State:
- Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara
Chhattisgarh state consists of 27 districts and 5 divisions:
|District||Headquarter||Largest City||Other Major Cities|
|Bilaspur||Bilaspur||Bilaspur||Kota(Kargi Road), Pendra Road, Bilha|
|Durg||Durg||Bhilai-nagar||Charoda, Kumhari, Patan|
|Raigarh||Raigarh||Raigarh||Kharsia, Gharghora, Sarangagarh, lailunga|
|Janjgir–Champa||Janjgir||Janjgir-Naila/ Champa||Shakti, Akaltara|
|Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara||Baloda Bazar||Bhatapara|
Main article: List of cities in Chhattisgarh
|Largest cities in Chhattisgarh|
(2011 Census of India estimate)
|GDP||₹3.26 lakh crore (US$50 billion) (2018–19 est.)|
GDP by sector
Services 35% (2016-17)
|18.06% of GSDP (2018–19 est.)|
|Revenues||₹73,782 crore (US$11 billion) (2018–19 est.)|
|Expenses||₹83,179 crore (US$13 billion) (2018–19 est.)|
Chhattisgarh's nominal gross state domestic product (GSDP) is estimated at ₹3.26 lakh crore (US$50 billion) in 2018–19, the 17th largest state economy in India. The economy of Chhattisgarh recorded a growth rate of 6.7% in 2017–18. Chhattisgarh's success factors in achieving high growth rate are growth in agriculture and industrial production.
Chhattisgarh State is ranked as the 17th-largest tea-producing state in India. The districts of Jashpur and Surguja are favourable tea production areas. In Jashpur district, the first tea plantation, Brahmnishthajaya Sogara Ashram was established under the direction of Pujya Pad Gurupad. Tea production started after two years at the Sogara Ashram. A tea processing unit was established in Sogara Ashram and the unit name set as the Aghor Tea Processing Plant. The forestry department has also started a tea plantation motivated by the Sogara Ashram. In Surguja district, a tea nursery is being developed by the Margdarshan Sansthan Agriculture College in Ambikapur, Surguja.
Agriculture is counted as the chief economic occupation of the state. According to a government estimate, net sown area of the state is 4.828 million hectares and the gross sown area is 5.788 million hectares. Horticulture and animal husbandry also engage a major share of the total population of the state. About 80% of the population of the state is rural and the main livelihood of the villagers is agriculture and agriculture-based small industry.
The majority of the farmers are still practising the traditional methods of cultivation, resulting in low growth rates and productivity. The farmers have to be made aware of modern technologies suitable to their holdings. Providing adequate knowledge to the farmers is essential for better implementation of the agricultural development plans and to improve the productivity.
Considering this and a very limited irrigated area, the productivity of not only rice but also other crops is low, hence the farmers are unable to obtain economic benefits from agriculture and it has remained as subsistence agriculture till now.
The main crops are rice, maize,kodo-kutki and other small millets and pulses (tuar and kulthi); oilseeds, such as groundnuts (peanuts), soybeans and sunflowers, are also grown. In the mid-1990s, most of Chhattisgarh was still a monocrop belt. Only one-fourth to one-fifth of the sown area was double-cropped. When a very substantial portion of the population is dependent on agriculture, a situation where nearly 80% of a state's area is covered only by one crop, immediate attention to turn them into double crop areas is needed. Also, very few cash crops are grown in Chhattisgarh, so there is a need to diversify the agriculture produce towards oilseeds and other cash crops. Chhattisgarh is also called the "rice bowl of central India".
In Chhattisgarh, rice, the main crop, is grown on about 77% of the net sown area. Only about 20% of the area is under irrigation; the rest depends on rain. Of the three agroclimatic zones, about 73% of the Chhattisgarh plains, 97% of the Bastar plateau and 95% of the northern hills are rainfed. The irrigated area available for double cropping is only 87,000 ha in Chhattisgarh plains and 2300 ha in Bastar plateau and northern hills. Due to this, the productivity of rice and other crops is low, hence the farmers are unable to obtain economic benefits from agriculture and it has remained as subsistence agriculture till now, though agriculture is the main occupation of more than 80% of the population.
In Chhattisgarh region, about 22% of net cropped area was under irrigation as compared to 36.5% in Madhya Pradesh in 1998–99, whereas the average national irrigation was about 40%. The irrigation is characterised by a high order of variability ranging from 1.6% in Bastar to 75.0% in Dhamtari. Based on an average growth trend in the irrigated area, about 0.43% additional area is brought under irrigation every year as compared to 1.89% in Madhya Pradesh and 1.0% in the country as a whole. Thus, irrigation has been growing at a very low rate in Chhattisgarh and the pace of irrigation is so slow, it would take about 122 years to reach the 75% level of net irrigated area in Chhattisgarh at the present rate of growth.
Chhattisgarh has a limited irrigation system, with dams and canals on some rivers. Average rainfall in the state is around 1400 mm and the entire state falls under the rice agroclimatic zone. The Large variation in the yearly rainfall directly affects the production of rice. Irrigation is the prime need of the state for its overall development and therefore the state government has given top priority to development of irrigation.
A total of four major, 33 medium and 2199 minor irrigation projects have been completed and five major, 9 medium and 312 minor projects are under construction, as of 31 March 2006.
Chhattisgarh is one of the few states of India where the power sector is effectively developed. Based on the current production of surplus electric power, the position of the State is comfortable and profitable. The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) is in a strong position to meet the electricity requirement of the new state and is in good financial health. Chhattisgarh provides electricity to several other states because of surplus production.
In Chhattisgarh, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (|NTPC) has Sipat Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 2,980 MW at Sipat, Bilaspur; GMR Power in Tilda and Korba Super Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 2,600 MW at Korba, while CSEB's units have a thermal capacity of 1,780 MW and hydel capacity of 130 MW. Apart from NTPC and CSEB, there are a number of private generation units of large and small capacity. The state government has pursued a liberal policy with regard to captive generation which has resulted in a number of private players coming up.
The state has a potential of 61,000 MW of additional thermal power in terms of availability of coal for more than 100 years and more than 2,500 MW hydel capacity. To use this vast potential, substantial additions to the existing generation capacity are already underway.
The steel industry is one of the biggest heavy industries of Chhattisgarh. Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhilai operated by SAIL, with a capacity of 5.4 million tonnes per year, is regarded as a significant growth indicator of the state. More than 100 steel rolling mills, 90 sponge iron plants and ferro-alloy units are in Chhattisgarh. Along with Bhilai, today Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba and Raigarh have become the steel hub of Chhattisgarh. Today, Raipur has become the centre of the steel sector, the biggest market for steel in India.
The aluminium industry of Chhattisgarh was established by Bharat Aluminium Company Limited, which has a capacity of around 600,000 tonnes each year.
Forests occupy 41.33% of the total area (as per the latest report by the Indian Forest Service) and the rich forest resources include wood, tendu leaves, honey and lac. Approximately 3%is under very dense forest, 25.97% is moderately dense, 12.28% is open forest and 0.09% is scrub.
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