Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of building smart cities is set to take shape within the current financial year, with the Centre readying to invite bids for Dholera investment region in Gujarat in the next three months and for integrated industrial townships in Greater Noida and Vikram Udyogpuri in Madhya Pradesh along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) by March next year.
"We are ready to roll out two projects and an industrial zone. We are progressing very fast. A lot of countries including Germany, UK, USA and Korea have shown interest to participate in the industrial townships," said Talleen Kumar, CEO of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation.
Japan is providing support of $4.5 billion in the first phase of these projects through lending by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Kumar added that the government would invite bids for another project, Shendra Bid industrial zone in Maharashtra, by mid-2015.
The Vikram Udyogpuri township will consist of automotive and auto components, IT/ITeS and engineering services industries and educational institutions. Greater Noida township, on the other hand, is envisaged to have new age sectors such as biotechnology, high-tech electronics industry, and research & development. It will also support key sectors such as telecom, electronics, automobile, food, pharma, healthcare and defence research.
About 35-40 per cent of projects are trunk infrastructure, for which funds are provided by the DMIC Trust while the rest of the 60-65 per cent projects are being structured under the publicprivate partnership model. The department of industrial policy and promotion is currently discussing guidelines for smart cities to qualify a city to be called 'smart'.
A smart city must have three of the five infrastructure requirements - energy management, water management, transport and traffic, safety and security and solid waste management. At the same time, it must have three of the five application domains - healthcare, education, inclusion, participative governance and community services. "We have submitted the guidelines proposal to DIPP, which will discuss and take a final call," said Kumar.
Meanwhile, in the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor, JICA has taken up master planning for three of the eight nodes - Punderi (Karnataka), Krishnapatnam ( Andhra Pradesh) and Tumkur (Karnataka). "Land acquisition for the new industrial regions is at an advanced stage. Land availability is essential for the corridors, and we are working with the state governments for that," said a DIPP official. Japan has also shown interest in setting up industrial parks in India, on lines of Chinese industrial parks.
Source: Economic Times
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