Chinatowns springing up in Indian towns

New Delhi: Chinese companies bagging contracts to build steel and power plants in India are constructing small townships to house their workers.

Little ‘Chinatowns’ are springing up at different locations in India as more and more Chinese companies bag contracts to build steel and power plants in the country.

“We have executed, for a major secondary steel company, a township for 2,000-odd Chinese workers at a location in Jharkhand, where they would be erecting, commissioning and operating a combined steel and power unit,” the chairman of a leading architecture and civil engineering firm told Business Standard.

“The quarters are quite spartan, with basic sleeping and recreation rooms, and shower ranges and attached toilet units, but with the requisite engineering to permit a large number of people to use the facilities simultaneously,” added the architect.

He said it was the largest such township to be built in the country and the standards and designs were different and much closer to the Western designs than similar complexes built for Indian workers at offsite project locations.

While the steel company refused to be identified, or to name the Chinese party (saying it was commercially sensitive information), the chief financial officer (CFO) of the company confirmed that the Jharkhand unit would be using Chinese technology and rely on a core manpower team from that country to operate at the levels of efficiency promised by the Chinese equipment supplier. “We understand that the Chinese government has unofficially told their equipment suppliers that if they desired to draw support from government agencies like their export financing institutions, they would do well to use Chinese workers at offsite locations instead of using local workers as it would support jobs and families in their country,” said the CFO.

He said he estimated 3,500 Chinese workers were in East India alone, and another couple of thousand more in other locations in the country. Such residential zones for Chinese workers were coming up at three locations in West Bengal, with as many as five plants being set up using technology from the communist nation.

When contacted, two Chinese supervisors with English-speaking skills serving at projects in Bengal, said while they had problems with the quality and speed of work done by Indian workers, they found the working and living conditions comparable to the Chinese facilities.

“We find many of the foods we prefer and have collectively hired domestic staff from our country, while 60-70 of us have moved our families to Kolkata as well,” said Jin Bao, one of the two engineers. Chinese contractors acquired a formidable reputation after the EPC firm, Dongfang Electric Corporation, won at Rs 2,750 crore, the contract for the West Bengal Power Development Corporation’s 2×300 Mw Sagardighi coal-based power plant in the Murshidabad district.

The first Sagardighi unit began power generation in end-2008 with power load factor of 80-90 per cent, while the second unit’s synchronisation is due.

When contacted, sources in the Chinese consulate in Kolkata refused to comment.

Foreign teams working at projects is not new — Russians worked to build the Bokaro Steel Plant and some ordnance factories, the Germans set up the Bhilai and Rourkela steel plants and the British built the Durgapur steel plant in the past.

However, these expatriates usually lived in mixed areas in bungalows comparable to those provided to Indian officers, and not usually in separate enclaves. Besides, they were usually highly skilled supervisory staff and not expatriate blue-collar workers completely manning project erection responsibilities.

Interestingly, a secondary steel project in Bengal recently acquired sudden notoriety after 70-odd Chinese engineering workers allegedly beat up Indian workers following sharp differences over the quality and integrity of the work executed by local workers like fabricators and welders.

The conflict was so violent that the local police had to intervene, hospitalise a group of Indian workers and arrest some Chinese supervisors on specific assault charges, said a highly-placed bureaucrat in the West Bengal government. But he added that he did not expect such an incident to slow down the rush of Chinese project teams coming to India.

Source: MSN


  1. Yen says:

    Not too long from now, the inflow of Chinese expatriates’ numbers will surpass the aged old Indian Chinese settlements in various cities across India.

    While this group of newcomers have no intention for long stay, their presence is felt to help keep the contracted work on projects going.

    The change of demographics of Chinese in India is forward looking.

  2. Suresh says:


    This article suggests that PRC (the Communists) are coming to occupy & destroy our motherland.

    What do you think we should do or can do now as Indians ? Better late than never.

    As a free democracy, we cannot allow or let this happen ?

    Let’s join hands collectively with all our brothers in the nation together to coerce the Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Investments to stop this from happening ?

    While it now looks only a tiny flame of fire, let’s extinguish it before it turns out to spread like a wildfire getting out of hand & spreading across our motherland & taking control over our people as they have done so to our highly respected spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Dharamsala (formerly from Tibet) ?

    These Communists, unlike your Indian Chinese community or our West Bengal Naxalites brothers, should not and never be allowed to visit our Indian Chinese restaurants (especially ron, your Indian Chinese restaurant) should they ever try to come by to eat Indian Chinese food. We should tell them that we do not want their dirty monies and we will not serve them food.

    At best, these Communists should be forced to be evicted out of our motherland as mother India does not welcome them to India or accommodate them.

    While our very own Indian Chinese are already swearing out at our Government, it would be worse if these intruding Communists to come in to boost up their strength with the local Chinese community.

    While India is a big country, we do not want the Communists investments or their expertise.

    Our Indian citizens are better off than theirs and our rise has been looked down by Communists as threat.

    ron, please, please – what shall we do ?

    God help us. God protect our motherland.

    The Communists are coming….Oh Lord, the Communists are coming.

    Jai Ho!!!!!!!!!!

  3. ycl1688 says:

    Trust the chinese to do the unexpected !!! whoever you seek help from that person may hear a knock at the stroke of midnight at his door to be sent to exile, just like the politicians did to the oversea chinese in dark days of 1962.

    The sky is not falling. Only chicken little like you does feel that way now.

  4. Dan says:

    Well said yc1688. You selected option (2) below.

    Read my lips; mark my words:

    A few years from now, when these Indian towns be filled with Chinese expats, a large group in busloads would periodically flock into Dhapa, Tangra Chinatown to sample Indian Chinese food – chowmein with Indian masala, chillie chicken, Manchurian chicken etc…..

    By then, our self-professed India’s most patriotic son – ron, a Hakka Indian Chinese would be in one of the following positions:

    1) He had already gone off to Deoli, Rajasthan with family to spend remaining days of lives.

    2) He & family had taken asylum in Dharamsala spending time in prayers with Dalai Lama to save immortal souls for reincarnation. Reasons being despicing his long dead ungrateful Chinese ancestors for intruding into India as refugees & still hurting Indians.

    3) He left Delhi/Kolkata for good to run a curry shop in one of North East States. Had changed full Chinese names to Naga, Mizo etc. of Mongoloid ancestry. Family attires changed to tribal or mainstream sari, kurta, pyjama etc. with tikka, turbans. Reasons to escape due to fear of Chinese Intelligence backlash &/or Indian persecution.

    4) The most likely:
    a) He expanded his Indian Chinese eatery in Tangra with lavish “Chinese” decorations of Dragon, red lanterns etc.standing outside street corner greeting/welcoming Chinese intruders with big wry for sake of offering Indian style chowmein flavoured in curry sauce to help sustain family livelihood.
    b) He closed the doors of the eatery for the day before arrival of evil Communists that may vandalise & destroy his eatery.

    Being such thick-skinned, think 4a is what will happen.

  5. Bill says:

    Hi Guys,
    I think you’ve got your point across. Let’s live and let live and move on.

  6. ycl1688 says:


    Thanks for all the assumptions you came up with, you still maybe missing something what if he poison all the Communists in his eatery business, just a joke.

    Anyways let us gather our thoughts put ourselves into a meaningful position to solve the problems of our brothers and sisters in India and abroad. Let us work towards the day when no one can look down on others based on race, colors, religious and so forth.

    Let us find that shining city on that shiny hills and not worry about certain ‘uncle tom’ characters.

  7. Dan says:

    Bill & ycl1688,

    Sorry to have the last comment here.

    Thanks both for uplifting this blog forum to level intended by Leon & others. Yes, let’s move on – forgive & forget.

    There is no patent rights to being Indian Chinese. We are proud of who we are.

    Being Indian Chinese, holding Indian citizenship or otherwise, is never a shame. History gave that burden – one have choice.

    No matter where we reside, we shall continue our solidarity to make the community thrive against all odds.

    The community came a long way & still far from perfect. We shall overcome one day when UNITY prevail. Solutions to our current problems are many.

    Those aspiring to join Indian politics should do so. When elected, it provides flatforms to be seen & heard (like Meiyang Chang in Indian entertainment industry today). Action is better than words. Just do it.

    Living in the world’s largest democracy, we should embrace, treasure & not abuse the various freedoms.

  8. ycl1688 says:

    Having my minor and humble duty to uphold the good and nature of this discussion, I know the Chinese Communist party is already close to bankrupt, in Mao time if you ever caught growing small vegetable plants around your house for household consumption, you are consider as capitalist pig and sentence to few years in prison, the reason Communist
    is going down the drain is because of taking away one’s property and wealth is not a good way. When Mao came to power all the shanghai wealthy persons suffered, so they fled to Hong Kong.

    Communists are not perfect, so does capitalist society.

    Amongst the Chinese people they suffer a lot because of ism. Because of
    Chang kai shek policy of rather kill a thousand then spare a communist, that is too harsh.

    When cultural revolution was launched in China, there began the 10 years of madness and bloodbath in mainland.

    And history repeat itself in 89 when students demonstrations were crushed by tanks and bullets in beijing, another tragedy unfolded.

    The point is this party politics affect human lives, and Communists do it in violent way. There goes the saying ‘power comes out of barrel of guns’ ‘two kitchen knives cause a revolution’ slogans.

    No wonder people scare of communist and our parents got stuck in India, and become stateless and refugees elsewhere.

    The bottom line is that whenever political process is needed, people got to participate. Interestingly Hitler came to power because Jews were not taking him seriously, they were too busy making money, the final consequence is the holocaust.

    I know politics can be bore to death, let us live for another day,
    take it one day at a time.

  9. Wang says:

    Well said ycl1688.

    Having to live with history (whether one like it or not) to know how our parents got stuck in India is already a painful experience.

    But having a member of the clan – our very own son in the community, earlier veiled as a non-Chinese, booing the Indian Chinese to QUIT INDIA, as if he owned the land, was more of a shocking experience.

    The Chinese saying that: Blood is thicker than water is put to test.

    That clan member should know that while every human body organ can now be changed with implants and transplants, he should consider to peal off the yellow skin from his body and have all his blood in the body undergo transfusion.

  10. ycl1688 says:


    You are absolutely right, maybe you can recommend a doctor to that person and collect the finder fee. Earlier someone suggested to marry
    a local indian mainstream girl that person can collect match making fees too. Please do not take this joke seriously.

  11. Slyvester says:

    Our Indian Chinese community infamous son – that fake patriotic Indian, who bitterly attacked the community as “ungrateful refugees to leave India” should feel remorse to know that:

    The sons of India famous political dynasty know the true test of the Chinese saying: Blood is thicker than water – while they held different political party affiliations.

    A young Varun, son of Sanjay (deceased) & Maneka Gandhi was known very outspoken. He was asked by media, while joining BJP a few years ago, if he would set verbal attacks on his cousins – Rahul & Priyanka, son & daughter of Rajiv (deceased) & Sonia Gandhi from CPI. Out came his reply was ” No, because we flow the same blood in our bodies”.

    On his latest controversial hate message speech attacking those anti-Hinduism, his cousin Rahul accorded him a similar soft reply saying “Varun has his way of expression, while I also have my own way of expression which is different from him”.

  12. ycl1688 says:


    Good to know Indian politicians becoming wiser and not at each other throat, India has a brighter future.

    As for our infamous son rough count has been 8 against 1 pointing the finger at him, let this be the lesson whoever against the majority opinion suffer this fate. That person surely left a bitter taste in our mouths. We do not have any intention to bad mouth others, our aim is to make our life easier and look for a solution to our problems with mutual respect. This way we will have a brighter future too. We are surely not perfect we will have to strife for perfection.

    Finally let me make myself clear, I do not work for the Communists. I have no intentions to look down on others, the aim is to hold this forum to the highest level and let us kick it up a notch.

  13. hakawala says:

    I am not worried about you guys attacking at each other and too politcical, be quiet and live happily and stop worrying about us (former Hakkas lived in Dhapa Calcutta). We are all doing fine and live happily ever after in the Nato countries. It could have been even better today had we stayed and the land (Dhapa) would have been more flourished with prosperity.

  14. ycl1688 says:


    obviously we chinese all over the world has survived prosecution and mass murders. Yet we come out strong, this forum is to uphold those horror facts should not repeat anymore. I think you are living in a comfortable lifestyle in a western world, do not care about where you are from that is your problem. What more do we have to tell you.

  15. Slyvester says:

    Well said yc1688.

    It is hard to believe and comprehend that a prior member of the Chinese community living in Kolkata to say such things.

    Without remorse, hakawalla should feel ashamed by hiding his face in the sand like an ostrich.

  16. Ah Wan says:

    Hi Slyvester,
    I fell proud of Hahawala for being bold in his expression and i admire him for it,

  17. Slyvester says:

    Hi Ah Wan,

    Good for you. You are free to express yourself as well. Why wait for Hakawala (not Hahawala) to do so.

    By the way, there appears two “typo” in your only one sentence; else your English is too poor to properly address your viewpoint.

    Challenging the status quo is a good trait and widely encouraged in many U.S. Corporates; but doing it unconstructively and negatively ruin its objective.

    Not sure if you belong to the group in which someone earlier suggested idolizing Ah Chong Fat. If so, better think twice before ending up like him.

  18. Ah Wan says:

    Hi Slyvester,
    Firstly my SINCERE APOLOGY and REGRET to Hakawala for my typing mistake. Im sure i will be forgiven as we know each other very well we have spent our schooling together, there is no question of making fun with the name.
    You seem to like action so much that you wont think twice before launching a nuclear war.(War is destructive).
    If hakawala say anything to me i dont mind, but please i wont tolerate if Slyvester try to teach me what i should do. I certainly agree with you being unconstructive and negative does ruin the objective and destroy the atmosphere (save our earth) and i dont fall in that category. What ever you think right.
    So be it!!!

  19. Slyvester says:

    My dear Ah Wan,

    My profession is not a teacher. So, I am not qualified to teach anyone. Were you ever asked to tolerate anyone ? If not, is that a threat ?

    Also, I do not work as a War Planning Strategist in any Defense Department, so I have no intention to wage war. You may form your opinion that I liked action very much without second thoughts to launch a nuclear war. That’s a mighty “praise” statement from heaven which I am unworthy and undeserving. You may grant that to someone else.

    Lastly, the saying is so true: Birds of a feather flock together. You know what I mean.

    I will let you to have the last word if that’s what appease you. But please treasure what you have to say. Amen.

    God save us!!!

  20. ycl1688 says:

    To all those participated in the recent dog fights, what do you get out of this, you get richer ? you feel you are better than others ? you get a gold medal in this fight ? your stomach get filled ? Not a single yes. So next time when you post any comment think twice. Take it easy folks.

  21. prasant says:

    Thanks, Ycl
    For being the Angel here, seen enough of war , bloodshed and persecution. I hope your view will open the eyes of every one here. I have read somewhere that once an emperor in China went to war because he broke his favorite tea pot. I dont know how much is that correct. History can be boring but if the teacher is interesting and beautiful than it become very exciting. I had a teacher like that once, that’s why i know.
    Thanks 2 u ycl for bringing back peace. So true is your views.

  22. ycl1688 says:


    thanks for your comment.

    I read that Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s handwriting is so illegible one of his generals could not make out the note and sent his men to a war.

  23. ling says:

    Interesting to read the two examples on reasons for waging wars. They are of no comparison with dog fights.

    The deeper meaning is provoking.

    Let there be peace, brothers.