Patna,(BiharTimes): Once it was known for three-crop land. Even garma dhan (summer rice) used to be grown there as it has a chain of canals originating from river Sone.
Bihta was part of food-basket of Bihar. The British built canals in both sides of Sone way back in 19th century. They have grown old and outdated. Besides, construction of dams in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have reduced the flow of water in Sone forcing the farmers to look elsewhere.
In the meantime came central government’s institutions like IIT, NIT etc. Land plots were allotted in this part of the state giving the farmers an ample opportunity to sell them at a good price. Had the fertile land still been productive the farmers would have resisted any attempt to procure land. May be it would have become another Singur or Nandigram.
Then came the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital.
Bihta is 40-odd km from the state capital on Patna-New Delhi rail route. It has an air force airport. The township was quite accessible from Patna too. Therefore, it soon started emerging as a satellite town of Patna.
The land price has skyrocketed in the past few years. At present, a katha (1,361sqft) of land is priced between Rs 10 and Rs 15 lakh. A few years ago, it was available for only Rs 2-2.5 lakh.
For example when Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology came up in 2005 the land price was just four lakhs per acre. This engineering college bought 11 acres of land for Rs 44 lakh. Now, the market rate of the same plot is about Rs 6.5 crore per acre.
Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) is selling land at Rs 45 lakh per acre. The land near Patna-Ara highway has been sold or acquired by BIADA.
Construction work in Bihta has also increased the sale of building material. The sale of cement, for instance, has increased by more than 20 times in the last couple of years.
Now everything is available in Bihta, from building construction material to clothes and electronic goods. With the IIT campus about to be shifted here and others to follow soon, Bihta will be the place to live in as Patna has become too crowded.