First smart city project to get boost at summit

Vibrant Gujarat | Dholera will be spread across a 920 sq km area

Written by Surabhi | Ahmedabad | Updated: January 11, 2015 2:19 am
modi, vibrant summit Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Ahmedabad for the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 on Saturday. (Source: Express Photo)

As the government draws out the blueprint of 100 smart cities across the country, India’s first smart city project at Dholera is expected to get a boost at the seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

The Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) is expected to be one of the main investment draws at Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 that is also seeking investments for another smart city in the state –the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City as well as other infrastructure and manufacturing projects in the state along with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

The Dholera smart city, being developed along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor has already initiated the tendering process. “We have begun issuing the request for qualifications for building trunk infrastructure. By March, RFQs and RFPs for the initial 22.5 square kilometre area will be issued and we are expecting response from investors across the world,” said Talleen Kumar, CEO of DMIC Development Corporation (DMICDC).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans to build 100 smart cities across the country to take care of growing needs of urbanisation that would also help bridge the rural-urban divide. Seeking investments for these projects, the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that kicks off from Sunday is also hosting a seminar on smart cities on January 12 that will be addressed by Union minister for urban development, housing and urban poverty M Venkaiah Naidu.

“We will be announcing the blueprint for smart cities very soon. But the actual implementation and financing has to be done by the state governments along with the local bodies,” said a senior official of the ministry of urban development.

To be spread on a 920 square kilometre area, the Dholera smart city is located about 110 kilometre from Ahmedabad along the DMIC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat had said the port city of Dholera would be better developed than Delhi and would be six times the size of Shanghai.

“There is obviously a lot of excitement over Dholera SIR this time, which is the Prime Minister’s pet project. There are huge expectations and we expect at least a few memorandum of understandings to be signed with potential investors for the region,” said a state government official who did not wish to be named.

Modi kurtas, jackets on sale as souvenirs

Investors coming to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit will not only get a chance to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi hardsell the state as an investment opportunity, but would also have the chance to partake in his sartorial style.

Amidst the souvenir shops being set up at the Mahatma Mandir complex in Gandhinagar that is hosting the summit, is a stall selling Modi jackets and kurtas in the PM’s trademark style inviting visitors to “take home the original souvenir”.“We have been making these kurtas and jackets for nearly a decade and they are available at all our outlets but this is the first time that we have set up a stall here during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and the Vibrant Gujarat Summit,” said Chirag Diwan, marketing manager at Jade Blue.

Available in vibrant and sober colours the kurtas and jackets are made in cotton, linen blend and jute. Prices start at Rs 1,400 for a kurta and Rs 3,000 for a jacket.

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