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Land talks on for 'smart cities' project

Nayanima Basu/New Delhi 05 Aug 12 | 12:59 AM

The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Ltd (DMICDC) is scouting for land to establish the proposed seven ‘smart cities’ alongside the 1,500-km industrial corridor planned across six states – Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The seven smart cities, to be developed as world-class manufacturing hubs, are to have individual master plans. Each of these would require different sizes of land, for which DMICDC, a special purpose vehicle comprising government and private entities, is in talks with the state governments to acquire land in the six states.

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The seven manufacturing hubs proposed to be developed in the first phase are Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad in UP, Manesar-Bawal in Haryana, Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana in Rajasthan, Ahmedabad-Dholera in Gujarat, Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow in MP, and Dighi Port and Shendra in Maharashtra.

THE SMART SEVEN
  • The 7 ‘smart cities’, to be developed as world-class manufacturing hubs, would develop their own individual master plans
     
  • The manufacturing hubs proposed to be developed in the first phase are: Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Manesar-Bawal in Haryana, Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana in Rajasthan, Ahmedabad-Dholera in Gujarat, Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow in Madhya Pradesh and Dighi Port and Shendra in Maharashtra
     
  • As per the initial plan, each city will have a planned resident population of not less than two million, with targeted employment of 0.8 million

“Each city has a different requirement. Our talks with the Maharashtra and Gujarat governments have reached an advanced stage and we are hopeful of starting work there by March next year," Amitabh Kant, managing director and chief executive officer of DMICDC, told Business Standard.

He said talks with the other four states were progressing but refused to divulge any details. According to other officials, the talks for acquiring land in Haryana have faced some hurdles. So, the first phase of the project, expected to be implemented by 2019, might face some delays.

“I do not believe in rushing things and commit any mistake on such a vast project. We are planning it for the next 30 years. The master-plan is getting notified by the state governments, one by one.

The process of acquisition of the land got delayed due to the new land acquisition policy. Land is a state subject, so every state has their own model of acquiring land. Of course, a lot depends on the political will of a particular state," Kant said.

The master plans have been designed by leading international consultants, after discussions with the state government and other stakeholders. Some of these consultants are Halcrow (UK), Kuiper Compagnons (Netherlands) and Jurong (Singapore).

By the initial plan, each city is to have a resident population of not less than two million, with targeted employment of 0.8 mn. The DMICDC is also to develop some of the ‘early bird’ projects that will take shape in the first phase of construction. These ancillary projects will be recycling units, airports, exhibition centres, power generation units and water management ventures.

The project envisages a total investment of $100 billion. Last year the Union Cabinet approved financial assistance of Rs 17,500 crore over the next five years through the DMIC project implementation fund.

This is to be set up as a Trust, for the development of industrial cities at Rs 2,500 crore per city on an average, subject to a ceiling of Rs 3,000 crore per city.

For arranging composite financing solutions for the vast project, DMICDC has partnered with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

The progress and implementation of projects in DMIC will depend upon the availability of land, scale and size of projects, various approvals from different states and the central government agencies. During the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister to India in December last year, their side announced $4.5 bn contribution for projects with Japanese participation through financing from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and aid through the Japan International Cooperation Agency to the DMIC facility.

Recently, the project secured all the required environmental clearances, for all the six cities. The ministry of commerce and industry has also completed a perspective plan for the entire corridor.

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