India's first greenfield industrial city at Dholera in Gujarat is ready to take off, with basic infrastructural facilities for its first phase of development are set to be completed by this September, according to officials.
Dholera, which is a project conceived under the then Chief Minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is being developed from the scratch as a smart city, where the government will build a robust infrastructure for industrial development in this saline region near the Gulf of Khambhat.
"Basic infrastructure for the Dholera Special Investment Region, initiation area of 22.5 km will be ready by September 2019," CEO of Dholera Special Investment Region Development Authority (DSIRDA) Jai Prakash Shivhare told reporters Sunday.
"Many countries, especially China, are developing new cities. India has developed many greenfield cities," he said, adding that Dholera is the first greenfield industrial city that is being developed in the country. "Dholera is now ready to take off," he said.
The Centre has provided a grant of Rs 3000 crore for the development of smart infrastructure at this new industrial city, out of which the DSIRDA has awarded contract works worth Rs 2800 crore for developing infrastructure before the arrival of the industry at the site.
The city will get stormwater drains, wastewater discharge, underground ducts, electricity and water supply, wide roads and good connectivity.
Dholera will be connected to Ahmedabad by the expressway and a Metro line which will reduce the travel time, he said, adding that the Centre has already issued tenders for the expressway between Ahmedabad and the proposed industrial city, located around 100 km from Ahmedabad.
An international airport will also come up in the vicinity of Dholera city, the CEO said.
When asked about the response of industries, Shivhare said authorities are holding discussions with various industrial houses for setting up plants in Dholera.
He said some announcement can be expected during the Vibrant Gujarat 2019 summit beginning January 18.
"This is largely a saline land, and converting it into an industrial city is the best way for development and ensuring jobs for the people of the region," he said.
We are planning to have an egalitarian city here, he said.
"The city will have 11 per cent of open green area which will be the largest in the country, 10 per cent of the area earmarked for residential purposes will be reserved for housing for the economically weaker sections (EWS). The tap water will be drinkable," Shivhare said.
DSIRDA officials said they will start developing other phases in Dholera with a total area of 400 sq km, once the first phase one is completed.
"Dholera taluka in Ahmedabad district is very saline area due to its proximity to the sea. Farmers get very low yield for their crops," officials added.