town and major industrial centre, southeastern Madhya Pradesh state, central India, in the Chhattisgarh region. It was part of the Haihaivansi Rajputs Kingdom until 1740, when it passed to Maratha rule. It was administered by the British from 1853 until its merger with the Indian Union in 1947. Located on the South Eastern Railway about 4 miles (13 km) east of Durg town, Bhilai Nagar is a planned town, divided into sectors with low-density, mostly single-story housing. A major government-operated steel plant, southeast of the town, was built in collaboration with the U.S.S.R. during India's Second Five-Year Plan (1956-61). Iron ore from Dalli-Rajhara, limestone from Nandini, coal from Jharia, manganese from Balaghat, electric power from the Kosa thermal-power plant, and water from the Tandula Canal, all nearby, are used in the Bhilai Nagar plant to manufacture rails and structural steel. Pig iron and billets are supplied to foundries and rolling mills located at Kumhari and other sites in central India. Other industries in Bhilai Nagar include a cement plant, a sulfuric acid plant, an ammonium sulfate plant, and sawmills. The Maitri Bagh ("Garden of Friendship") is located near the Maroda water tanks (at the steel plant) and symbolizes Indian-Russian cooperation. Pop. (1981) 319,450.
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