Dholera: A Smart Industrial Realty
Jai Prakash Shivahare, Managing Director, Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL) and CEO, Dholera Special Investment Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA), in conversation with Sreyasi Maity, shares insights on the challenging task of developing a futuristic industrial town.
First and the largest Greenfield smart city being built under the Phase I of DMIC, DSIR symbolizes Indian government’s intent to realise its “Smart cities” project. Impressive in its size, the DSIR consists of a sprawling area of 920 sq kms and covers 22 villages falling under Ahmedabad district. Passed under the Special Investment Region (SIR) Act 2009, the project, divided into six phases, is expected to be completed over the next thirty years. The first phase, covering an area of 153sq kms, is the largest node to be developed at an investment of Rs. 1400 crore. According to Shivahare, “Dholera will become the role model of new cities coming up in India.”
What is the idea behind DSIRDA and Dholera SIR?
Conceived as a part of the DMIC, Dholera Special Investment Region is developed in consultation with leading global firms and envisaged to catapult India on an international platform. Dholera will be a new city by 2040, catering to a whopping population of 2 million people and generating 8,27,000 employment opportunities.
Initially, 8 nodes or cities in the six DMIC states have been taken up for development. There are many smart cities coming up apart from Dholera in Gujarat such as Maneshwar – Bawal IR, Haryana, Jodhpur-Pali Marwar IA, Khushkhera-Bhiwadi- Neemrana IR, Rajasthan, Ahmedabad – Dholera in Gujarat, Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow IR, Madhya Pradesh, Shendra-Bidkin – IA, Dighi Port IA, Maharashtra. Because of the advantages in terms of scale, connectivity, the kind of industrial peace available in Gujarat and high-tech infrastructure, among all we are the largest compared to others.
“We want genuine investors; we do not want players from the market who’ll not use the land after purchasing. I want MSMEs to come at Dholera and buy as small as 1000 square meters.”
What are the basic infrastructure challenges?
Getting the right program managers with sound knowledge to manage the sprawling area of 920 sq. km was the biggest challenge. In Dholera Smart City, we are coming up with a new fascinating offer where all the people living here become stakeholders. Due to the town-planning schemes, people are getting developed plots and they are free to use the land for the purpose they want. All the services are at the plot level and these include:
- 24 X 7 Power & Water supply
- Dual circuit network with redundant power source for backup
- 100% underground power distribution network
- 100% Coverage with Fiber Optical cables
- ICT enabled city infrastructure
- Integrated City Operation Centre (CIOC) to control and manage city operations
- Citywide WiFi and networking
As we are providing underground infrastructure and not allowing any polluting industries, all the industries will be treated under CETP (Common Effluent Treatment Plan) where treated water can be used again in the city for different purposes. The development plans include Dual plumbing system, 100% collection of wastewater and Industrial Effluent and 100% recycling and reuse of resources. Also read http://realtyplusmag.com/dholera-smart-city-gateway-to-the-future-real-estate/
Dholera Industrial City is a joint venture company, under Government of Gujarat and Government of India. While DSIRDA possess 51% of land and DMIDC possess 49% cash equity. This city will be run by DSIRDA. In the future, Government can take over the management.
What are the advanced technologies that will be used for city administration & maintenance?
Dholera Smart City is going to adopt the path of digital transformation. There will be a lot of automation in order not to lag behind in international comparison in terms of digitalisation and to ensure competitiveness. With high-end technology, uninterrupted power supply, quality water, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled system, such as advanced facilities like e-governance, Central Integrated Operations Centre, a utility data centre, city-wide network and city dashboards. Moreover, advantages like a single window clearance and e-land allotment systems have also assured ‘ease of doing business’. With more flexibility, more efficiency and more quality we are ready for higher industry 4.0 maturity.
What are the initiatives you are taking to attract micro, small and medium enterprises?
During the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Dholera was promoted among people from different sectors such as solar industries, Biotech industries, Agro and Food Processing. We signed MoU with Airbus to be a part of Dholera. We are trying to target all the major players in the industry as we will be offering the best ecosystem. Due to its progress and scope, the project has received a commitment of investment worth the US $20 billion from large Japanese investors. After GST many companies have started coming back to Gujarat. In Pharmaceuticals, Gujarat’s share has increased to 32% from 29% in one year and we are expecting to go to 40% in the next year.
Reluctant to delay the project for all avoidable reasons the government has begun the process of inviting companies to set up their facilities in the region by offering them incentives, grants and early-bird discounts.
Construction Timeline of Dholera Smart City
A remarkable example of the government’s commitment towards the project, an “Activation Area” of approximately 22.5 sq kms has already been identified to trigger development. An impressive US $ 600 million has already been earmarked by the Government of Gujarat to roll out trunk infrastructure in the activation area.
Recently, the state government accorded a in-principle approval to a 5000 MW solar power project to be established in the region. Slated to be India’s largest solar park, he project will be spread over an area of 11,000 hectare and is expected to attract investments to the tune of Rs. 25,000 crore, providing employment to 20,000 people.
The government also plans to set up a 200MW wind park in DSIR, which is expected to attract additional investment to the tune of Rs 1,400 crore. Preparing to showcase Dholera as an investment destination at the next Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani recently laid the foundation stones for a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) and a water pipeline to be built at a cost of Rs. 3,000 crore.
Keeping in time with the deadlines, the work on the “central spine”; the ten lane new express highway, connecting Dholera to Ahmedabad, is already underway. Progressing as per schedule, water logging, seismological and environment studies in the area have already begun and on acquiring land and defence clearances, the government has already applied for a license for the New International Airport.