Indian Geography General
States & Union Territories
Area : 2,75,069 sq km
Population : 8.32 crores as on 1.3.09
Capital : Hyderabad Principal
Languages : Telugu and Urdu
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The earliest mention of the Andhras is said to be Aitereya Brahmana (2000BC). It indicates that the Andhras, originally an Aryan race living in north India migrated to south of the Vindhyas and later mixed with non-Aryans. Regular history of Andhra Desa, according to historians, begins with 236 BC, the year of Ashoka’s death. During the following centuries, Satavahanas, Sakas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, and Kakatiyas ruled the Telugu country. Other dynasties that ruled over the area in succession were the kingdoms of Vijayanagar and Qutub Shahi followed by Mir Qumruddin and his successors, known as the Nizams. Gradually, from the 17th century onwards, the British annexed territories of the Nizam and constituted the single province of Madras. After Independence, Telugu-speaking areas were separated from the composite Madras Presidency and a new Andhra State came into being on 1 October 1953. with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, there was a merger of Hyderabad State and Andhra State, and consequently Andhra Pradesh came into being on 1 November 1956.
Andhra Pradesh is historically called the Rice Bowl of India. The state has a larger river system which supplements the rainfall in the state. It is one of the few states in the country blessed with riverine geography. Andhra Pradesh is bounded on the north by Orissa and Chhattisgarh, on the west by Maharashtra and Karnataka, on the south by Tamil Nadu and on the east by the Bay of Bengal with a coastline of 974 km.
Agriculture is the main occupation of about 62 per cent of the people in Andhra Pradesh. Rice is a major food crop and staple food of the State contributing about 77 per cent of the food grain production. Other important crops are juwar, bajra, maize, ragi small millets, pulses, castor, tobacco, cotton and sugarcane. Forests cover 23 per cent of the State’s area. Important forest products are teak, eucalyptus, cashew, casurina, bamboo, softwood, etc.
The Government is working with a mission of “Sustainable Agriculture Production with minimum cost of cultivation, eventually encancing the return on income to the farmer. “ In the process of making the mission a reality, the Government is implementing schemes for the welfare of farmers like 9 hours free power supply, subsidized interest rate on crop loans, subsidized and quality agricultural inputs etc. Andhra Pradesh occupies the first position in respect of agricultural loans from commercial and cooperative banks. The debt waiver scheme of central government and the incentive scheme of the State Government have helped about one crore farmers in the state to the tune of Rs. 16,000 crore. The government of Andhra Pradesh is also keen on introducing cooperative farming to set up farm yields.
A total of 86 projects (44 Major+30 Medium+4 Flood Banks+8 Modernisation) have been taken up under alayagnam programme, with the aim of completing the ongoing and new projects in a record time to provide immediate irrigation to water starved areas on top priority by mobilizing funds fromall possible sources. Till now, 12 projects were completed and water released for 19 more projects creating partial irrigation potential and the remaining projects are programmed to be completed in a time bound and planned manner. Andhra Pradesh Government has been making huge budgetary allocations for the execution of irrigation projects and it is the first state to involve the farmers in the management of irrigation sources.
Important power projects in the State are : the Nagarjunasagar and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Sagar (Srisailam Hydel Project), Upper Sileru, Lower Sileru, Tungabhadra Hydel projects and Nellore, Ramagundam, Kothagundam, Vijayawada and Middanur thermal power projects. The Srisailam Hydro Electric project (Right Bank) with an installed capacity o 770 MW and the Srisailam Left Bank HES capacity of 900 MW and the Nagarjunasagar complex with 960 MW are the principal source of hydel generation. Vijayawada Thermal Power station with an installed capacity of 1,260 MW and Kothagudem Thermal power station with an installed capacity of 1,220 MW and the main sources of thermal power generation. The 1,000 MW coal-based Simhadri Thermal Power station aims at supplying the entire energy generated to the State.
Installed capacity of the State as in June 2009 is 13,472.33 MW. The annual revenue from sale of power is Rs. 13,945 crore (including non-tariff income). Government is particularly committed to the welfare of farmers by way of enhancing free power from seven hours to nine hours to all agriculture consumers. Govt. also waived the power consumption arrears amounting to Rs. 1,259 crore relating agricultural consumers.
The Government of AP is extending various incentives for SSI & Tiny Sector and Large & Medium Scale Industries. The State Government has been promoting the manufacturing sector in a big way by providing concessions in power tariff, allotting land and relaxing labour laws in Special Economic Zones (SEZs). AP has promoted 102 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of which 64 have been notified by the Government of India. The state has recommended to Government of India for setting up of 59TT/ ITES SEZs, with active private sector participation. As of now, 12 IT SEZs with 22 units are functioning and operational creating an employment of 15,000 of TT professionals.
MINES & GEOLOGY
Andhra Pradesh is well known globally for its variety of rocks and minerals and is called Ratna Garbha. Andhra Pradesh has the largest deposits of quality chrysolite asbestos in the country. Other important minerals found in the state are copper ore, manganese, mica, coal and limestone. The Singareni Coal Mines supply coal of the entire south India. The mineral consumption is increasing due to promotion of various industries and manufacture of mineral based products. The state produces about 100 to 110 million tones of industrial minerals and 200 million cubic metres of stone and building material. AP stand first in Barytes and Limestone production in the country. The state stands first in value of mineral revenue among the important Mineral Producing states of the country.
Rs. 2/- a kg rice scheme : To extend help to the poor and low-income groups the State Government has been implementing the Rs. 2/-a Kg Rice supply scheme since 7 April 2008. Depending on the size of the family, each white cardholder gets 16kg to 20 kg every month. This benefits 1.82 crore white cardholders. The Government is keen on implementing the scheme without any scope for irregularities.
The Government has introduced an innovative, unique, self financed housing scheme “Rajiv Swagruha” for the moderate income group in the state with an objective that every person with moderate income in the state having no house of his/her own must have a house at affordable cost in the urban/municipal areas in the state. The houses / flats have to be made available to them at prices 25% less than the exiting market rates on similar specifications. The construction of housing programmer under Rajiv Swagruha in under progress.
“Rajiv Arogyasri” is a unique health insurance scheme being implemented in Andhra Pradesh. The scheme enables the poor, suffering from chronic diseases, to undergo treatment costing upto Rs. 2 lakh. All white cardholders can undergo treatment for about 942 diseases. Medical and surgical treatment is provided in 344 corporate, private and Government hospitals free of cost of patients. Aarogyasri Scheme is unique in its applicability, since no other state / government agency has provided universal health coverage to the poor for major ailments. The choice of hospital for treatment is with the patient. The entire process from the time of conduct of health camps to the screening, testing, treatment, follow-up and claim for payment is made transparent through online web based processing to prevent any misuse and fraud. The systemismotivatingmore andmore Government hospitals to participate in the scheme and utilize the revenue earned to improve facilities to provide quality medial care and thus bring reforms in tertiary medical care. Officials from several states have visited the state and appreciated the scheme. Since inception of the i.e., 1 April 2007 and as on 31March 200, 344 hospitals from Government and private sector have joined the network and organized 8785 health camps in rural areas wherein 15,99,520 patients have been screened and 2,43,529 surgeries/ treatment conducted at a cost of Rs. 785.35 crores. In addition, 3,65.763 patients were given medical consultation as outpatients free of cost.
Andhra Pradesh has been forgoing ahead in the sphere of Information Technology. It is ahead of the states in exploiting the opportunities to the hilt. The State Government has introduced many schemes to utilize the maximum number of skilled human resources in the I.T. Sector. The Government is making efforts to spread IT to Tier II cities like Warangal, Tirupathi, Kakinada, Visakhpatnam, Vijaywada, Guntur and Kadapa. As a result, job opportunities in the IT sector in Tier II cities have improved. The IIT, Hyderabad is part of the history making which started functioning from 20 August 2008. The Government of Andhra Pradesh established Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technology (RGUKT) in 2008 to cater to the educational needs of the meritorious rural youth of Andhra Pradesh. Three IITs are established in Basara (Adilbad), Nuzividu (Krishna) and Rajiv Knowledge Vally (Kadapa) under RKUKT.
Roads: The total R & B road network in ht State in 69,051 km as on 31 March 2009, of which, the National Highways passing through Andhra Pradesh constitute 4,472 km., the state Highways constitute 10,519 kms. Major District Roads constitute 32,170 km and rural roads 21,714 kms. The density with reference to R& B road network in the state is 0.23 per one sq. km and 0.86 km per 1000 persons.
Railways : Of the railways route covering 5,107 km in Andhra Pradesh, 4,633 km a broad-gauge, 437 km is metre-gauge and 37 km is narrow gauge. Activation : Important airports in the State are located at Shamshabad, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam. International flights are operated from Shamshabad.
Ports : There is one major Port at Visakhapatnam under Government of India and 13 Non-Major Ports under State Government. Ports offer tremendous potential for development and for the growth of a wide spectrum of maritime activities such as international shipping, coastal shipping, ship repairs, fishing, captive ports for specific industries, all weather ports, tourism and sports, etc. Minor Ports of Andhra Pradesh handled 26.88 million tones of cargo during 2009-10 and AP is the 2nd highest cargo handling state in India.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation continues to strive for promotion of new tourism products such as Eco-tourism, Beach- Tourism and Cruise-Tourism. The Corporation currently runs a chain of 52 hotels with 1043 rooms and 2222 beds in prime locations fostering homely ambience. An impressive fleet of 144 buses cater to varied tour packages connecting important tourism locations within and outside the state. The Corporation runs Sound & Light shows, owns and operates water fleet of 120 boats making River and Lake cruise tourism an affordable reality. 73.79 lakh tourists visited the state and the revenue is Rs. 109.00 crores during 2008-09.
Charminar, Salarjung Museum, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, Thousand Pillar Temple and Fort in Warangal, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta, Buddha Stupa at Nagarjunakonda, Nagarjuna Sagar, Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala-Tirupathi, Sri Mallikarjunaswamy Temple at Srisailam, Kanaka Durga Temple at Vijayawada, Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Temple at Annavaram, Sri Bjadrachalam, Araku Valley, Horsley Hills, Nelapattu, etc., are the major tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh.
Area : 83,743 sq km
Population : 10,97,968 (census 2001 Prov.)
Major Tribes : Monapa, Miji, Aka, Sherdukpen, Nyishi, Apatani, Tagin, Hilli Miri, Adi, Digaru-Mismi, Idu-Mishmi, Khamti, Miju-Mishmi, Nocte, Tangsa and Wancho.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged State on 20 February 1987. Till 1972, it was known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA). It gained the Union Territory status on 20 January 1972 and renamed as Arunachal Pradesh. On 15 August 1975 an elected Legislative Assembly was constituted and the first Council of Ministers assumed office. The first general election to the Assembly was held in February 1978.
Administratively, the State is divided into sixteen districts. Capital of the State is Itanagar in Papum Para district. Itanagar is named after Ita fortmeaning fort of bricks, built in 14th century AD.
Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in the literature of Kalika Purana and Mahabharata. This place is the Prabhu Mountaisn of the Puranas. It was here that sage Pashuram atoned for his sin, sage Vyasa meditated King Bismaka founded his kingdom and Lord Krishna married his Consort Rukmini.
The widely scattered archaeological remains at different places in Arunachal Pradesh bear testimony to its rich cultural heritage.
AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and mainly depends on jhum cultivation. Encouragement is being given to the cultivation of cash crops like potatoes and horticulture crops like apples, oranges and pineapples.
INDUSTRIES AND MINERALS
For conservation and exploration of the vast minerals the Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Limited (APMDTCL) was set up in 1991. Namchik-Namphuk coal fields are taken up by APMDTCL. To provide training to craftsmen in different trades there are two Industrial Training Institutes at Roing and Daporijo.
Some of the important festivals of the State are: Mopin and Solung of the Adis, Lossar of Monpas, Boori-boot of the Hill Miris, Sherdukpens, Dree of the Apatanis, Si-Donyi fo the Tagins, Reh of the Idu- ishmis, Nyokum of the Nishis, etc. Animal sacrifice is a common ritual in most festivals.
Places of tourist interest are : Tawang, Dirang, Bomdila, Tipi, Itanagar Malinithan, Likabali, Pasighat, Along, Tezu, Miao, Roing, Daporijo Namdapha, Bhismaknagar, Parashuram Kund and Khonsa.
The Arunachal Pradesh State Election Commission in support of State Government has successfully conducted and completed Panchayati Raj Elections in the State in themonth of May 2008 for speedy development in the village and grass root level.
Area : 78,438 sq km
Population : 2,66,55,528
Capital : Dispur Principal
Language : Assamese
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The word ‘Assam’ as interpreted by some scholars is derived from the Sanskrit word Asoma meaning peerless of unparalleled. But the widely accepted opinion of the academic circles today is that the term has come from the original name of the Ahoms, who ruled the land for about six hundred years prior to its annexation by the British. The races like Austric, Mongolian, Dravidian and Aryan that came to this land long ago have contributed to its composite culture. Thus Assam has a rich legacy of culture and civilization.
Assam was known as Pragyotisha or the place of eastern astronomy during the epic period and later named as Kamrupa. The earliest epigraphic reference to kingdom of Kamrupa is found in the Allahabad pillar inscription of king Samudragupta. Kamrupa is mentioned as a Pratyanta or frontier state outside the Gupta empire but with friendly and subordinate relation to it. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese scholar pilgrim who visited Kamrupa in about 743 AD on an invitation of its monarch, Kumar Bhaskar Varman, left a record of the kingdomhe called Kamolupa. Kamrupa also figured in the writings of the Arabian historian Alberuni in the eleventh century. Thus, from the epic period down to the twelfth century AD, the eastern frontier kingdom was known as Pragjyotisha and Kamrupa and kings called themselves ‘Lords of Pragjyotish’. The advent of the Ahoms across the eastern hills in 1228 AD was the turning-point in Assam history. They ruled Assam nearly for six centuries. The Burmese entered through the eastern borders and overran the territory at a time when court intrigues and dissensions were sapping the vitality of the Ahom royalty. It became a British protectorate in 1826 when the Burmese ceded Assam to the British under the provision of the Treaty of Yandabo. Assam is the sentinel of north-east India and gateway to the North-Eastern States. The State is close to India’s international borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Assam is surrounded by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh on the north, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh on the east and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram on the south.
Assam is an agricultural State. Agriculture occupies an important place in the economy of the State. The principal food crop is rice. The cash crops are jute, tea, cotton, oilseeds, sugarcane, potato, etc. Noteworthy horticulture items are orange, banana, pineapple, arecanut, coconut, guava, mango, jackfruit and citrus fruits. The State has an estimated 39.83 lakh hectare gross cropped area of which net area sown is about 27.24 lakh hectare.
Assam is known for her rich forest wealth which constitutes 26.22 per cent of the total forest area.
The State has five National Parks and eleven wildlife sanctuaries. The Kaziranga National Park and the Manas Tiger Project (National Park) are internationally famous for the one horned Rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger respectively.
Of agriculture-based industries, tea occupies and important place. There are six industrial growth centres in the State and two such centres are being set up at Balipara and Matia. Presently four oil refineries have been working in the State including the one and Digboi. Construction of the Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Amingaon near Guwahati is nearing completion. A Software Technology Park will be constructed at Borjhar near Guwahati. A Central Institute for Plastic Engineering Technology (CIPET) has been established ant Amingaon near Guwahati. Assam has always enjoyed the highest reputation for her arts and crafts associated with her cottage industries. Cottage industries include handloom, sericulture, came and bamboo articles, carpentry brass and bell-metal crafts. Assam produced varieties of silk, Endi, Muga, Tassar, etc. Muga silk is produced only in Assam in the world.
The major power stations are Chandrapur Thermal Project, Namrup Thermal Project and few Mobile Gas Turbine Units along with a mini hydroelectric project. Revitalishing the Thermal Power Station of Bongaigaon and the on-going the Karbi- Langpi Project will boost the power supply in the State. The Lakuwa Waste Heat Recovery Project was expected to be commissioned in 2008-09.
Roads : the total length of roads in the State is 37,515 km which includes 2,836 kms of National Highways. The construction of 160 km of barbed wire fencing and 27 kms of the border road along the Indo- angladesh International Border have been completed.
Railways : The length of railways tract in Assam is 2,284.28 kms comprising 1,227.16 kms under broad-gauge and 1,057.12 km under metre-gauge lines.
Aviation : The regular civil air service operate from Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport (Guwahati), Salonibari (Tezpur), Mohanbari (Dibrugarh), Kumbhirgram (Silchar), Rawriah (Jorhat) and Silonibari (North Lakhimpur).
Assam has an exclusive range of colourful festivals. Bihu is the chief festival celebrated on three occasions. Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihumarks the advent of the cropping season and it also ushers in the Assamese New Year. Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu is the harvest festival and Kati Bihu or Kongali Bihu coming in autumn is a simple affair. Religion accounts for a large variety of festivals. Vaishnavites observe the birth and death anniversaries of prominent Vaishnava saints through day-long singing of hymns and staging of Bhaonas (theatrical performance in traditional style). Ambubachi in Kamakhya shrine, Sivaratri Mela at Umananda and other places near Siva temples, Durga Puja, Diwali, Dol-Jatra, Id, Christmas, Ashokastami Mela, and Rash Mela, Parsuram Mela are other religious festivals.
Important places of tourism in and around Guwahati are Kamakhya temple, Umananda (Peacock Island), Navagraha (temple of nine planets), Basistha Ashram Dolgobinda, Gandhi Mandap, State Zoo, State Museum, Sukreswar temple, Gita Mandir, Madan Kamdev temple, a magnificent archaeological place of interest, and Saraighat bridge.
Other places of tourist interest in the State are : Kaziranga National Park (famous for the one horned rhino), Manas Tigar Project, Pobi-tora and Orang (wildlife sanctuaries), Sibsagar (Shiv Temple-angghar-Karengghar), Tezpur (Bhairavi temple and scenic beauty), Bhalukpung (Angling), Haflong (health resort with Jatinga hills), Majuli (largest river island in the world), Chandubi lake (picnic spot), Hajo (meeting point of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam), Batadrava (birth place of great Vaishnava saint Sankaradeva) and Sualkuchi (famous for silk industry).
Area : 94,163 sq km
Population : 8,28,78,796
Capital : Patna Principal
Language : Hindi
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Bihar finds mention in the Vedas, Puranas, epics, etc., and was the main scene of activities of Buddha and the 24 Jain Tirthankars. Great rulers of the State before the Christian era were Bimbisar, Udayin, who founded the city of Patiliputra. Chandragupta Maurya and Emperor Ashoka and Maurya dynasty, the Sungs and the Kanvas. Then came the Kushan rulers followed by Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty. Muslim rulers made in roads into the territory during the medieval period. The first conqueror of Bihar was Mohammed-bin-Bakhtiar Khalji. The Tughluqs and then the Mughals followed the Khaljis.
One of the major states of the Indian Union, Bihar is bounded on the north by Nepal, on the east by West Bengal, on the west by Uttar Pradesh and on the south by Jharkhand. Bihar has a number of rivers, the most important of which is the Ganga. The other rivers are the Sone, Poonpoon, Falgu, Karmanasa, Durgawati, Kosi, Gandak, Ghaghara, etc.
Bihar has a total geographical area of about 93.60 lakh hectare, out of which only 55.65 lakh hectare is the net cultivated area with a gross cultivated area of 77.19 lakh hectare. About 34.62 lakh hectare net area and 46.46 lakh hectare gross area receive irrigation from different sources. Principal food crops are paddy, wheat, maize and pulses. Main cash crops are sugarcane, potato, tobacco, oilseeds, onion, chillies, jute and mesta. Bihar has a notified forest area of 6.22 lakh hectare, which is 6.65 per cent of its geographical area.
Major Industries are : Railway Wagon Plants of Bharat Wagon Limited at Muzaffarpur and Mokamah; Oil Refinery of Indian Oil Corporation at Barauni; Fertilizer Manufacturing Plant of Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited (HPCL) at Barauni and Pyrites Phosphates & Chemicals Limited (PPCL) at Amjhor; Cotton Spinning Mills at Siwan, Pandaul, Bhagalpur, Mokamah and Gaya; 13 sugar mills in the private sector and 15 in the public sector located in south and north Bihar with a total crushing capacity of 45,000 Tonne. In addition, distilleries at Gopalganj, West Champaran, Bhagalpur and Riga (in Sitamarhi district); finished leather industry in West Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Barauni; jute mills and Katihar and Samastipur; medicine manufacturing unit in Hajipur; food processing units as also vanaspati manufacturing units at Aurangabad and Patna; besides Kalyanpur Cement Limited at Banjari, are notable on the industrial map of Bihar.
Bihar has an irrigation potential of 28.73 lakh hectare. It is created through major and medium irrigation schemes and 49.35 lakh hectare through minor irrigation schemes.
Roads : Bihar has 46107.00 km of pucca roads including 3734.34 km of national highways, 3989 km of state highways, 8156 km of major District Roads, 3818 km of other District Roads and 27400 km of Rural Roads.
Railways : Bihar has a fairly good railway network. There is a railway bridge at Mokamah in north Bihar. A few railway routes connecting important places like Muzaffarpur-Samastipur- Barauni-Katihar and Muzaffarpur-Chapra-Siwan have been converted into broad gauge. The main rail junctions are at Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Katihar and Samastipur.
Aviation : There is an international airport in Patna, besides landing grounds in all major districts of the State.
Important places of tourist interest are Rajgir, Nalanda, Vaishali, Pawapuri (where LordMahavira breathed his last and attained Nirvana), Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila (ruins of Buddhist University of higher
learning), Gaya, Patna (ancient city of Pataliputra), Sasaram (tomb of Shershah Suri) and Madhubani (known for its famous Madhubani Paintings). Mundeshwari Mandir (Kaimur), Rohtras Garh Fort (Rohtas), Jain Pilgrim Place, Kundalpur (Nalanda), Bihar School of Yoga (Munger), Manersharif Patna, Rural Tourist Place Nepura (Nalanda), Kesaria Stupa (West Champaran), Barabar Hills (Jehanabad) and Lauria Nandangarh are also important tourist places.
Area : 1,36,034 sq km
Population : 2,07,95,956 (Census 2001)
Capital : Raipur Principal
Language : Hindi
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Chhattisgarh, carved out of Madhya Pradesh came into being on 1 November 2000 as the 26th State of the Union. It fulfils the long-cherished demand of the people. In ancient times the region was known as Dakshin-Kausal. This finds mention in Ramayana and Mahabharata also. Between the sixth and twelfth centuries Sarabhpurias, Panduavanshi, Somvanshi, Kalchuri and Nagvanshi rulers dominated this region. Kalchuris ruled in Chhattisgarh from 980 to 1791 AD. With the advent of the British in 1845, Raipur gained prominence instead of capital Ratanpur. In the 1904 Sambalpur was transferred to Orissa and estates of Saguja were transferred from Bengal to Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh is bounded by southern Jharkhand and Orissa in the east, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in the west, Uttar Pradesh and western Jharkhand in the north and Andhra Pradesh in the south. Areawise Chhattisgarh is the ninth largest state and population-wise it is seventeenth populous state of the nation.
Agriculture and allied activities account for nearly 80 per cent of the workforce in the state. Out of the geographical area 13,790 thousand hectare, gross cropped area is about 35 per cent. Kharif is the main cropping season. Rice is the predominant crop of the state; other important crops are maize, wheat, niger, groundnut and pulses. The state has one of the biggest collections of rice germplasm. Horticulture crops are grown in an area of about 303.57 thousand hectare.
IRRIGATION AND POWER
When the state came into being, the total irrigation capacity was 13.28 lakh hectares which has now increased to 16.81 lakh hectare. Major completed projects are Tandula, Kodar ad Pairy. The total capacity of the State Electricity Board is 1,681.05 MW, out of this the thermal power share is 1,260 MW and the rest is hydel power. The electricity board is investing in modernization, strengthening transmission and distribution networks and creating more generating capacities.
The Board itself is adding 500 MW installed generating capacity with 2 X 250 MW units in Korba. The private sector has been encouraged to set up generating capacities and to make third party sales outside the state. Around 93 per cent of 19,720 inhabited villages of Chhattisgarh have been electrified.
Chhattisgarh hosts a wide variety of minerals found in igneous, sedmentary and metamorphic terrains. Large deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone, bauxite, dolomite and tin ore are located in several parts of the state. Lately diamonditerous kimberlites identified in Raipur district are likely to yield substantial quantity of diamonds. There are also present medium to small deposits of gold and base metals. Satite furn corundum, graphite of workable size are likely to graduate to the category of large deposits after prospecting. Twenty per cent of the country’s steel and cement is produced in the state. It is the only tin ore producing state in the country. The mineral resources have immense potential for large investments in mining, setting of mineral based industries and generating employment. Chhattisgarh nestles atop the world’s largest kimberlite area. Eight blocks have been demarcated for diamond exporation. Apart from diamond, four blocks of gold exploration and five blocks for base metal investigations have also been demarcated.
Chhattisgarh is generously bestowed with natural resources like forests, minerals and surface water. The State has undergone a radical and is thriving with industrial activities now. Chhattisgarh produces 15 per cent of the steel made in the country. Many Government of India Undertaking like Bhilai Steel Plant, National Mineral Development Corporation, South-Eastern Coal Field Limited, NTPC and a number of large cement plant by groups like ACC, Gujrat Ambuja, Giasim, CCI and La-farge of Framce and 53 steel projects (sponge iron/pig iron route) in private sector are also under different stages of implementation. There are approximately 133 steel re-rolling mills and a number of mini steel plants. The state also boasts of 11 ferro-alloy units, steel/ cast iron casting units, engineering and fabrication units apart from large number of agrobased and food processing, chemical, plastic, construction material, forest produce based units.
Strategically located in central India, Chhattisgarh is able to supply power to units for all the time. About 17 per cent of the country’s coal reserves in the state, offering cheap pithead power generation opportunities with the potential to produce up to 50,000 MW of power. NTPC is now installing a new power generation unit, the largest ever by it in Bilaspur district. NTPC has started construction on its 2,640 MW Super Thermal plant in Sipat and another 600 MW plant in Korba. Several other states ate also interested in installing plants here. Private sector MoUs formore than 25,000 MW and more projects are in the pipeline. Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corp. Ltd., Raipur has developed, maintained and is managing approximately an area of 3,500 hectare of industrial land. More than 925 industries with investments of more than Rs. 18.000 million providing direct employment to 80,000 persons have already been set up on the land developed by this corporation.
E-Governance in Chhattisgarh is oriented towards ensuring people’s access to government, and this makes the government even more responsive and transparent. Chips (Chhattisgarh Infotech and Biotech Promotion Society) was set up with a high powered governing council under the Chief Minister’s chairpersonship, to act as a prime mover for IT and Biotechnology in the state.
All citizen service of e-governance are under one umbrella project called CHOICE (Chhattisgarh Online Information for Citizens Empowerment). Chhattisgarh got the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Award 2007 for its Human Development Report using Information Technology for the betterment of citizens.
ROADS: The total length of the roads in the State in 34,930 km. The length of the national highways is 2,225 km, state highways 3,213.50 km, district roads 4,814 km and rural roads is 27,001 km. Two north-south and four east-west road corridors are being constructed in the state for better connectivity having a total length of 3106.75 km.
RAILWAYS: Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh and Korba are important railway stations.
Chhattisgarh situated in the heart of India, is endowed with a rich cultural-heritage and attractive natural diversity. The State is full of ancient monuments, rare wildlife species, carved temples, Buddhist sites, palaces, water falls, caves, rock paintings and hill plateaus. Bastar, with its unique cultural and ecological identity, Chitrakote Falls, a spot where the river Indravati has an abrupt fall of 96 ft; Tirathgarh Falls, the picturesque waterfall of Kanger river from a height of 100 ft in the from of steps; Keshkal vally; Kangerghati National Park; Kailash caves; Sita Bongara and Kutumbsar caves are rich in natural beauty. Mahamaya temple at Ratanpur, Bambleshwari Devi Temple at Dongargarh, Danteshwari Devi Temple at Dantewada, Sirpur and important centre of Buddhism from6-10 century, Champaran, the birth place of Mahaprabhu Vallahacharya, Khutaghat waterfall, Dindneswari Devi temple of Malhar and the Achanakmar sanctuary, Udanti sanctuary near Raipur, Pali and Kendai waterfall of Korba district are important places of tourist interest. The Sabari temple of Kharod Janjgir-Champa; Nar Narayan temple of Sheorinarayan; Vishnu Temple of Janjgir are important religious places. The state has set up a State Tourism Promoting Board as the nodal agency for the sustained development of interrelated sectors in tourism.