Naya Raipur, the upcoming capital city of Chhattisgarh, is officially termed the first new 21st century city in India.

It is to come up over 8,000 hectares, encompassing 41 villages, of which 27 form the core. There are a lot of green spaces, covering 2,500 ha. Naya Raipur is already serving as the administrative capital of the state and also caters to the infrastructural need of industry and trade in the region.

With the vision to develop a world-class city, the Naya Raipur Development Plan 2031, based on a ‘Gridiron Pattern’ was sanctioned in April 2008. It is divided into 40 sectors, of which 21 are to be residential. It will be a fourth planned capital city, after Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh and Gandhinagar.

Barring the shift of the power centre of Chhattisgarh, the place awaits other infrastructure that would attract the population.

Officials said the city would be developed in three phases and the work was in progress. Work for a Bus Rapid Transit System is on in full swing, to facilitate movement between the old and new city, with 560,000 inhabitants expected by 2031.

NRDA had allotted land for national institutions such as an All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Sankara Netralaya, Hidayatullah National Law University, defence establishments, etc. Some have begun working on the projects.

Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister, Chandrababu Naidu, visited Naya Raipur with top officials, business people and MLAs, brought in three aircraft, in September 2014. Needing to have a new capital city also built for his state, he’d studied the concept here and said he was impressed with the model. What he did not mention, if he noticed, was that least effort had been made to populate Naya Raipur, giving the real shape to the new city. As of now, ministers and officials visiting their offices in Naya Raipur and return to the old one in the evening.

Experts say over-priced houses built by state-run Chhattisgarh Housing Board are a prime reason for people being reluctant to purchase property in Naya Raipur and shift. The existing rate is Rs 2,950 a sq ft. The board had built about 6,000 units but 2,000 are unsold. Top officials and businessmen had purchased property but that was for investment, as they had no plan to shift.

The state government has now allowed private parties to come up with residential projects; this had initially been banned. The government has also launched a scheme to construct 40,000 houses for poorer sections, at not more than Rs 7 lakh each.