Will Bihar be the preferred real estate destination ever?

The real estate in Bihar has lately given some hope of resurgence. People are becoming more aware of their rights (the latest demonstration was their use of voting powers to call for a change of power) and wants to be a part of the developmental boom as in the rest of India. An 'Investment commision' has been formed which will look into facilitating Bihar's development and to promoting it as an investment destination'.

The state is under a process of image building for an investor-friendly state. It promises certain advantages over already developed states in terms of cheap real estate prices, limited labour-related issues and a large educated manpower at nearly one-third the cost compared to Tier I and II cities. However, Bihar is still to go miles before it does some significant improvement in infrastructure, socio-economic backwardness, and law and order.

Will the interests shown by so many of biggies like Tata Group, MaxHealthCare and ICICI translate into actual investment in Bihar?
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  • Bihar to Vihar...

    The crucial theme in 'Bihar' should be 'Vihar'. A distortion that occurred during the 600 years long period of alien rule which in its fission reaction shattered our Bihar's cultural landscape by a single stroke deleting "Vi" to "Bi". It should now be corrected.

    The highest precedence, therefore, must be Education Emergency in the state to revert the intellect bank from displacement from villages and townships. Bihar's social networking within the country and the globe should get on to a group mail to pioneer newer initiatives in taking knowledge dissemination almost free to the masses at affordable costs with returns to flow after placement of the trainees - the best possible industry by creating other SEZs (Special Economic Zones)
  • A clear vihar piture

    The article painted a real picture. Need of the hour for our state is to invest in education. I am in Pune and seen so many students from Bihar studying in colleges in and around the city. I read somewhere that a whopping amount, to the tune of Rs. 8500 crore, of Bihari money is spent by students going outside to pursue their studies. This is a big sum of money. We need to build our educational infrastructure-technical universities and colleges. If we are able to do that, that money can boost economy of Bihar by several notches. It will foster the growth of some ancillary industries resulting in employment opportunities to lakhs of our youth. One minor advantage would be that the students would be spared the indignation of hearing about the backwardness of Bihar
  • I live in Delhi and I have roots from Bihar.there is no denying the fact that the state has already attracted investments from big names like mahindra and birla; all because they see growth in the state with the new government doing its bit to make it a prosperous state..but time will tell whether the plan really works
  • Badhiya Hai...

    It is good to see investment lollypops shown by few biggies for Bihar. But, I afraid of resistance shown by RJD in the case of land allotment to Prakash Jha for building multiplex and etc. For investment starved Bihar, it will be better if RJD keep mum over the investments. Also Govt. ensure merit in recruitment process by Private parties, any source-pairavi will damage the quality of work force and will bring Dadagiri in expecting industry and hence there will be negative impacts in the investment prospects. We should learn lesion from once prosperous Dalmia Nagar, turned to ghost house.
  • the government in Bihar should look at the money that is going outside the state; whether it is in education, medicare or service industry. thousands of students travel to Delhi, Pune and other cities to attain higher education.why cant the government think of setting up professional institutes and make room for employement avenues in the state?the money that is going outside could be utilised which would benefit the government also.
  • Will govt. be able to bring trust to investors...

    Will the interests shown by so many of biggies translate into actual investment in Bihar? It will certainly depend on the initiatives and assistance provided by the government over the time. CM and his team will have to work hard to make it. Many are watching the three states of eastern India- Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. It is for the time to judge who proves really better
  • change in the perception

    Bihar government has received a large number of investment proposals for sugar mills, malls, multiplexes, hospitals, and particularly educational institutes. A good percentage of them have got the approval too. Proposals for setting up eight new multi-purpose sugar mill complexes in Madhubani, East Champaran, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Madhepura, Begusarai and Nalanda districts with the capacity of crushing 65,000 tonne sugarcane per day involving an estimated investment of Rs 2,157 crore are in hand of the government.
  • what about infrastructure??

    well, the suggestion is fine but what about the infrastructure in the state??does that permit you to invite investment??
  • the political scenario in the state also does not permit development to take place because they are banking on cast politics and their voters are hardly concerned about development
  • All Roads lead away from Bihar..

    i wonder what makes investors to look into bihar.... no proper roads ... no managment, sewage and drainage system work by its own...

    The govt. must first put things in place before fascinating the big investors into the state...
  • no the thigs are changing..but you will have to go to Bihar to feel the change.. :)
  • Bihar through new vision....

    There need to be a change in perspective required for obvious... People outside bihar dont know about bihar... they only know about the spontaneous hillarious comment making CM and the gunda raaj but what they ignore is the amount of potential bihar has... and this is what the investors are visioning...

    I think the investors are very foresighting their profit by making investments in Bihar... their investment will entail in sure realty boom in bihar.... you can take my words for granted... east or west bihar is the best...
  • The real estate market in Patna (Bijhar) is likely to be streamlined in the coming days. For the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to categorise the city builders. The PMC board recently approved a proposal according to which the builders will be placed in three categories -- "A", "B" and "C".

    While the newcomers would be placed in category "C", those having some experience would be placed in the first two categories. Earlier, the Patna Regional Development Authority (PRDA) was the agency responsible for regulating this sector. Now the power of PRDA has been entrusted with the PMC.

    Builders of the first two categories would have to keep architects and structural engineers on their payroll. Earlier, there were no such bindings on builders and majority of them were taking the services of experts on ad hoc basis. New players having an engineering background would be given preference while putting their name in the last category of builders.

    Apart from technical expertise, the city builders would also have to cough up empanelment fee to get themselves recognised as empanelled builders. While the said fee for category "A" builder will be Rs 2 lakh, builders of placed in categories "B" and "C" will have to pay fee amounting to Rs one lakh and Rs 50,000 respectively.

    "The step has been taken with a view to ensuring the presence of quality builders in the real estate market," said PMC commissioner Rana Awadhesh.

    He said that PMC would soon launch a drive to empanel city builders in different categories. "A meeting with builders' association will soon be held for this purpose," Awadhesh added.

    Reacting to PMC's decision, co-ordinator of the Bihar chapter of the Builders Association of India (BAI) Narendra Kumar said, "Step to categorise the city builders is a good one, but the fee fixed for their empanelment is too high." He said that BAI would raise this point whenever PMC convenes a meeting in this regard.

    Kumar also said that while taking steps for regularising the real estate market, the government should also look into their problems so that serious players could work in a hassle-free environment. "Fixing a time limit for approval of building maps and fixing responsibilities in case of delay in their approval without any valid reason are some of the points which should immediately be looked into if the government is really serious about regularising this market," he added.

    TOI (Nov 9, 2007)
  • In name of Dalits, a land racket in Nitish’s Bihar

    Araria, Bihar: If the government had bought bicycles to give them to schoolgirls, you would have had a bicycle scam in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar famously said, explaining why he gave bicycle vouchers to families. But when it came to giving land to landless Mahadalit families — the poorest and most marginalised of Dalits — the government forgot this wisdom.

    Result: Allegedly acting in concert, government officials and brokers ganged up to buy land dirt cheap from villagers and then, within days, sold it to the government at four to five times that price. That land was then distributed under the Mahadalit Vikas Yojana.

    This scheme was launched in 2009-10 to give 3-decimal (or 1,306.8 sq ft) plots to landless Mahadalit families to build a home under Indira Awas Yojana. (A decimal is one-hundredth of an acre.)

    The Nitish Kumar government identified 2.18 lakh families across the state as beneficiaries under the scheme. Until last September — up to when figures are available — 1.53 lakh (just over 70 per cent) families were given plots. Under the scheme, the government must first try to secure gairmajura land (government land under illegal possession of individuals) and, if that isn’t available, it can buy residential land at a “ceiling price” of not more than Rs 20,000 for three decimals (or Rs 6,666 per decimal).

    The government has so far purchased land for 29,920 families, and will purchase land for another 27,603. Total cost: Rs 115 crore.

    An investigation by The Indian Express in Araria — one of the top five districts in the number of beneficiaries — has revealed that plots given to at least 300 of these families were purchased at low prices from villagers who were largely unaware of the scheme, and then sold to the government at the ceiling price.

    At the centre of the alleged nexus is the circle officer of Araria’s Raniganj block, Ramvilas Jha, who is in charge of the scheme’s implementation in the district. His cousin is married to Umesh Mishra, who runs a brick kiln and is a member of the Raniganj panchayat. Two of Mishra’s employees in the kiln are also brokers who bought land from poor villagers and sold it to the government.

    One of these men is Anil Panjiyar, a resident of Barbanna village employed by Mishra at a monthly salary of Rs 3,000. Records with The Indian Express show that on August 24, 2010, Panjiyar purchased 2.64 acres (264 decimals) in Kajra from Shahidi Khatoon and Shaquiba Khatoon of Rampur village for Rs 3.83 lakh ( Rs 1,450 per decimal).

    “He told us this was the best price he could offer given that the land was near a stream,” said Shahidi Khatoon, a 32-year-old housewife. “We were desperate, we had loans from moneylenders, so we sold our land.”

    Shahidi’s husband Mohammed Fayaz has four bigha of land which supports their family of six. They live in a tiny mud hut with a thatched roof, which stands in an open field. They have no money for a fence around the dwelling.

    Barely 11 days after buying Shahidi’s land, Panjiyar, as per records, sold it to the government, represented by Jha, for Rs 17,60,000 ( Rs 6,666 per decimal, the government’s ceiling) — a premium of nearly 360%. This land was then distributed to 88 families on September 1 on condition that they could neither sell nor transfer it.

    “I was cheated,” Shahidi said. “The circle officer used his relationship to get Panjiyar to buy land from us. They never told us that the government had fixed Rs 20,000 for 3 decimals. Had we known this, we would never have agreed to sell the land so cheap. The land’s real price (Rs 17.6 lakh) would have come to us.”

    Shahidi’s sister, Rahmati Khatoon, was wiser. She sold her 111-decimal plot on April 1, 2011 directly to the government at the ceiling price. But Rahmati is stuck as well — she has not been paid so far, and she alleged that Jha has been asking for a “bribe” to release her money.

    Another of Mishra’s employees, Mohammed Khurshid, struck a similar deal. Official records obtained by The Indian Express show that Khurshid got one Arun Thakur and his brother Tarun Thakur, poor farmers of Barbanna, to sell their 3.56 acres (356 decimal) at Bistoria on September 11, 2011, for Rs 4.90 lakh ( Rs 1,376 per decimal).

    With this money, the brothers bought a small jewellery shop in Raniganj town, from which they make about Rs 10,000 every month.

    Less than 40 days after being the Thakurs’ land, Khurshid sold it to the government (through Jha) for redistribution to Mahadalit families for Rs 23.73 lakh ( Rs 20,000 per three decimals).

    The land registration papers establish the nexus: Panjiyar signed as a witness just below Khurshid’s signature.

    In all, Raniganj block — under Jha — distributed land to 852 Mahadalit families for Rs 1.7 crore.

    When contacted, Jha claimed the government had purchased land “directly from farmers”. But when confronted with Khatoon’s and Thakur’s records, he declined to comment. Asked about buying land from brokers who are on his brother-in-law’s payroll, Jha refused to comment.

    Jha’s brother-in-law Umesh Mishra and his employees Panjiyar and Khurshid did not respond to several phone calls.

    Pradeep Kumar Singh, the BJP MP from Araria, said: “The government must follow up the Kajra and Bistoria cases and expose the guilty. There is no question of sparing those who are making money through the NDA government’s showpiece scheme.”

    Not many are seeing it as a showpiece, though. Corruption isn’t the only problem with the scheme; many of the beneficiaires have got their plots but are stranded — with neither access roads nor a house.

    In name of Dalits, a land racket in Nitish’s Bihar
  • Paswan for probe into land racket

    Patna: LJP chief and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday demanded a high-level probe into corruption and discrepancies in land allotments to 1.53 lakh Mahadalits — a conglomerate of 21 Scheduled Castes.

    Reacting to reports in The Indian Express, he said: “We are startled to know how circle officers and middlemen had used government ceiling price to engage in systematic loot from state exchequer. This has taken place because of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s blind faith in his bureaucrats at the expense of public representatives.”

    Paswan said it would be only fair to review all allotments by a neutral agency as there had been reports of government giving away ponds, low-lying areas, lands adjacent to rivers to Dalit families under Mahadalit Vikas Yojana.

    He said the media, “otherwise gloating over Nitish’s achievements”, had come out with its findings now to showcase real face of Bihar as opposed to a clean image.

    Paswan said he would take the fight among SC families through his upcoming trips to tell them how the state government had been befooling them.

    Paswan for probe into land racket