BEFORE MERGING into National Highway 12, Hoshangabad Road runs through the swathes of new development that form the south-east extremity of Bhopal. It is one of the widest strips of tarmac in the city, which serves as the capital of Madhya Pradesh. The Bhopal Institute of Social Sciences, Barkatullah University and Major Dhyan Chand Sports Complex sit along one side of the road; modish two-storey houses dot the other.
The neighbourhood of Bawadia Kalan spreads out on either side of Hoshangabad Road, just south of Barkatullah University. Take a sharp turn off to the east, and you find yourself driving past restaurants, shopping malls, salons and schools, and plenty of construction. Take a left at one of the malls, and you come upon a vista of gated communities with names such as Royal Homes and Bungalow City, and a 32-acre, sparsely built-up tract of land fronted by a decrepit shopping complex.