Smart Cities get cabinet approval
Parts of Outer Delhi which were earlier identified by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for land pooling are being considered for being converted into an integrated ‘Smart City’. This comes on the heels of directives proposed by the Urban Development ministry so as to decongest commercial centers of the National Capital. In this regard about 24,000 hectares of land across areas in Outer Delhi like Kanjhawala, Narela and Najafgarh would be acquired for developing the ‘Smart City’. Among other features, the designated areas would have high frequency mass transport, 100 per cent power supply, uninterrupted water supply and 100 per cent internet connectivity.
The Outer Delhi ‘Smart City’ project is expected to provide a tremendous boost to the realty sector in the region. Since land is proposed to be acquired on a ‘land pooling’ basis, those who have to ‘forgo’ of their land have no reason to sulk. Considering the prospects that the project has, they can expect healthy returns on their land in future. As part of land pooling, a part of their land would be acquired for developing infrastructure facilities for which they would be paid handsomely. The remaining part would be returned to them as developed land will all required facilities like public transport, power, water, drainage and internet connectivity. This is expected to result in considerable appreciation in land capital values. Considering that such land is expected to be available at a premium, developers would purchase them at premium prices from land owners.
DDA’s ‘Smart City’ project is expected to be one of the projects to be developed as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal to develop 100 Smart Cities across the country by 2019. Incidentally, the Finance Minister had allocated about Rs 7,060 crore for the current fiscal towards this end in the 2014 Union Budget. DDA authorities are upbeat about the Outer Delhi ‘Smart City’ proposal being approved by the Urban Development ministry. They are optimistic that they can initiate work on the project immediately after the approval is obtained. It is expected that by the end of 2014 land pooling in the designated areas in Outer Delhi can be initiated.
DDA authorities are hopeful that development of infrastructure facilities like roads and public transport hubs will be carried out side-by-side along with development of land pools for residential and commercial purposes. Accordingly, it is expected that between the next five to ten years, the Outer Delhi ‘Smart City’ will be fully functional. DDA plans to model its ‘Smart City’ on the recently commissioned Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT). GIFT was the first ‘Smart City’ project that was commissioned by the Prime Minister as part of the ‘100 Smart Cities’ proposal.