Dholera (Ahmedabad), May 25 (PTI) Dholera Industrial City, the first greenfield industrial smart city coming up over 920 sqkm here, is ready to welcome its industrial citizens as the first phase of the project spanning 22.5 sqkm is almost fully complete.
Dholera Industrial City is located around 110 km southwest of Ahmedabad on the western coast, encompassing 22 villages and the Dholera taluka, and is part of the ambitious USD 90-billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor announced in 2009 by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
“Only around 5 per cent of the key infra work, primarily of the 100-meter wide storm water canal, is left to be completed, which we plan to finish at the earliest. All other major work is ready and we are ready to welcome industrialists to make our city their new home,” Hareet Shukla IAS, the managing director and chief executive of Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) and Dholera Industrial City Ltd told PTI here.
“We’ve already invested Rs 3,000 crore (excluding land cost) to make this city functional, of which we’ve invested around Rs 1,400 crore to build the basic infrastructure,” Shukla said.
Dholera is strategically located by the industrial cities of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot and Bhavnagar.
Its significance is that this is the only greenfield city and that too at such a magnitude among the 11 smart cities planned along the DMIC with state-of-the-art utility and logistics and social infrastructure including education, healthcare, public amenities so that it functions like a self-sustaining ecosystem wherein it will be a new city to live, work and play, he said.
The DMIC is one of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects with an estimated investment of USD 90 billion, and is planned as a hi-tech industrial zone spread across seven states along the 1,500-km long Western Dedicated Freight Corridor; and includes 24 industrial regions, 11 smart cities, two airports (one is in Dholera), two mass rapid transit systems and two massive logistical hubs.
The 11 investment regions proposed to be developed in the first phase of the DMIC are Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad in UP; Manesar-Bawal in Haryana; Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana and the Jodhpur-Pali-Marwar industrial area in Rajasthan; Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow in MP; Ahmedabad-Dholera SIR in Gujarat; and the Shendra-Bidkin industrial park and the Dighi Port industrial area in Maharashtra.
The Dholera SIR is the biggest of these with a total area of 920 sqkm, with a target residential population of 2 million and over 8 lakh jobs by 2040, he said.
Around 36 per cent of the DMIC passes through Gujarat and six of the 24 industrial nodes identified across the corridor are also in Gujarat.
These are the Ahmedabad-Dholera investment region; Vadodara-Ankleshwar industrial area; Palanpur-Mehsana industrial area; Bharuch-Dahej PCPIR and investment region; Surat-Hazira industrial area; and the Valsad-Umbergaon industrial area, Shukla said.
The Dholera SIR has smart and sustainable infrastructure spanning transportation, water, power, waste-water, drainage and urban design. Its focus sectors include only non-polluting industries such as heavy engineering, automobiles & auto ancillary, defence, electronics, hi-tech, agri & food processing and infrastructure, Shukla who is also the tourism secretary of the state said.
Apart from an international airport that will be built over a 1,500 acres with a 3.5 km long runway, the SIR will also have the world’s largest solar park of 5 gw and the city will be connected with Ahmedabad by a 6-lane access-controlled expressway and metro rail.
Already, Tata Power has commissioned a 300-mw solar plant (of the planned 4,400 mw) in the SIR, while Tata Chemicals’ is setting lithium ion battery plant at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore and Renew Power is investing around Rs 4,000 crore to make solar panels in phases, Ketan Viadya, SIR’s marketing manager said during a drive around the 22.5 sqkm first phase.
He said a key attraction for industrialists is the cheapest power on offer at Rs 5 a unit, and this will be supplied by Torrent Power. Overall, an industrialist can gain at least 15 per cent cost reduction by setting up a plant here, he added.
Shukla said on completion of the full city, Dholera SIR can be home to 2 million, and will generate over 8 lakh direct jobs and generate Rs 50,000 crore in additional revenue to the state.
To make the project attractive to all, the SIR policy allows land owners/farmers to own the entire land as the SIR will return their land after developing the basic infrastructure and they continue to farm or earn rental income from industrialists or realty developers. The policy allows commercial use of only 52 per cent of the developed land, Vaidya added.
Of the total 920 sqkm, 340 sqkm are under the coastal regulation zone so can’t be touched and the rest 422 sqkm will be put to commercial use, of which 15-20 per cent will be greenery, he added. PTI BEN MR
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