Noida: Looking Back On Four Decades Of Futuristic Growth
On April 18 2016, Noida (New Okhla Industrial Development Authority) completed four decades since its formation. Today, it stands testimony to the fact that planning with a vision and creating infrastructure as the base to spur development generally has a positive outcome.
40 years ago, Noida was set up as an industrial town to encourage small industries and as an outreach to Delhi’s lack of space for industrial areas. The idea was also to create a wider urbanised sprawl to support the growing needs for space in Delhi which had come about due to increase in inwards migration and spiralling development levels. At the time, no one had envisioned that it will become one of the fastest-growing cities and an engine for growth for the state of Uttar Pradesh – and a vital cog in the National Capital Region’s development wheel.
The planning behind the city has stood it in good stead. As the urban sprawl around Delhi grew, Noida began creating individual sectors and setting in place development regulations and mechanisms to clearly demarcate industrial and residential areas. This demarcation has helped the city grow in a planned and homogeneous manner. With its row-housing colonies and cooperative housing societies, Noida was soon leading the charge of residential housing growth and has made vast leaps forward in the last decade.
An independent Authority to manage the city, its finances, planning and growth has led to a model where organized development and infrastructure capacity building is given top priority. The city is now quoted as an example of how newer cities should plan for future development, and of forward-looking infrastructure deployment and proactive policy creation. One of the important aspects in Noida has been that land there has always vested with the city development authority, and that release of land has been in sync with the master planning exercises undertaken earlier.
The city first grew inwards and thereafter began developing more radially outwards. This is manifest in the development of residential areas in the city, and along the road links with Delhi, before newer areas were opened up along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway once the road project was well underway.
Property Rates Growth Over The Years
The earliest recorded property prices in Noida were Rs. 100-150/sq.mtr. for residential plots in 1970s through to the 1980s, when development became more row-housing oriented. Gradually, multi-storeyed houses were introduced through cooperative housing societies. These were affordably priced at Rs. 1,200-1,700/sq.ft. in the 1990s, leading to the new millennium.
Over the next decade, prices jumped by nearly 60-70% before the financial crisis led to a decline and as further newer areas along the Noida Expressway were added to the residential inventory. Property prices in Noida were largely in the Rs. 3,000-3,500/sq/ft. range in 2010.
With more projects nearing completion, average prices have now reached Rs. 5,200–5,600/sq/ft/. Projects by reputed developers whose projects have higher specifications and amenities are currently selling slightly above this range. Similarly, sectors which are centrally located in Noida have apartment prices in the range of Rs. 6,000-7,500/sq/ft. However, premium row housing sectors are priced much higher and are currently priced in the range of Rs. 13,000-18,000/sq.ft.
Plot prices in Noida over the past forty years have jumped by an astonishing 800-1000 times if one considers the premium residential sectors of today. Using the plot prices of 1980 as a reference point, land rates jumped by 200 times over the next two decades, and thereafter have further grown by another 8-10 times over the past decade or so.
Outstanding Growth Drivers
While it already enjoyed good connectivity with Delhi, constant efforts have been made to improve and enhance Noida’s accessibility to the city, and to provide seamless movement for the perpetually growing vehicular traffic. The city is an important transport and logistics node on the North-West corridor, and also an essential IT/ITeS destination in NCR second only to Gurugram (previously called Gurgaon). It is the fastest-growing residential hub in NCR, and tremendous amounts of its lands have been brought under development over the last decade. From residential projects to integrated townships, commercial projects to swanky malls and mixed-use developments, Noida is throbbing with activity.
What is now visible is the impact of its exponential growth, with newer infrastructure projects being taken up on war footing. The existing road network is being constantly upgraded with the addition of bridges, culverts and underpasses to aid smooth traffic movement. The Metro has also zipped into Noida, connecting its commercial centre to as far as Dwarka with interminable links to other central and southern parts of Delhi. New metro links are being added to connect Noida with other parts of Delhi, serving the passenger load commuting to and from Noida every day.
Noida’s growth from sleepy village to industrial town to throbbing centre of commerce and development is not yet complete. Its journey continues as more residences, office developments and recreational projects get completed and more people come here to stay, work and unwind. Noida’s story of its ground-breaking, futuristic growth continues.