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Emerging Trends: Tier II, III cities set to grow in next phase of economic boom

A recent report has identified 20 tier II and III cities, with a population of over a million, that are on the verge of taking off.

Written by Sandeep Singh |
February 14, 2015 12:21:35 am


Cities across the country have witnessed significant changes over the past 10-15 years on the back of high economic growth, infrastructure development and evolution of the services sector.

If the six metros — New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore — witnessed the bulk of development in the first phase, the next phase will see the emergence of tier II and III cities with a sizeable jump in their economic activities.

Sm@rt Cities Council, along with Indicus Analytics, has put together a list of 20 cities with a population of over a million, as per the 2011 census (excluding the metros), that are part of the country’s growth and whose progress can help modernise rural India and contribute to the overall development of the country.

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The report states that while most of these cities do not have master plans, they can now prepare their plans on the basis of past experiences of other cities. The cities, that will spearhead the growth, according to the report, includes Surat, Nagpur, Lucknow, Vadodara, Jaipur, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Indore, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Rajkot, Bhopal, Kanpur, Thane, Vishakhapatnam, Faridabad, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Ludhiana and Nashik.


The Indian Express has picked ten out of the 20 cities from the list, profiling their existing infrastructure and planned/ongoing projects.

Surat, Population — 44.66 lakh

Existing infrastructure: Host to ONGC, GAIL, Ambuja, UltraTech, NTPC-KGPP Power Plant, Essar, L&T, Reliance Petroleum, Cairn India along with several IT firms.


Proposed and ongoing projects: Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train with a halt in Surat, reconstruction of railway station on PPP model, four-lane highways between Dakor-Savli, Vadodara-Dabhoi, Surat-Olpad-Bardoli. Plan for Rs 90,000-crore Mumbai-Surat tunnel road and construction of modular cargo terminal, cable stayed-bridge joining Athwalines-Adajan in Surat.

Nagpur, Population — 25 lakh

Existing infrastructure: While firms like Mahindra & Mahindra, Indo-Rama and Electrolux have been operating for long, companies such as DLF, Mantri, Satyam, Sahara, Raheja, Shapoorji Pallonji have acquired huge tracts of land to build townships.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Nagpur Metro, Nagpur-Secunderabad and Nagpur-Bilaspur high-speed train, 10-lane flyover-cum-underbridge in Pardi worth Rs 300 crore being, dry port near Mihan, multi-modal international hub airport. National Manufacturing and Investment Zone and development of first IIM in the state.

Lucknow, Population — 28.1 lakh


Existing infrastructure: Amausi International Airport, 25 acre IT park on Kanpur road and IIM Lucknow.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Lucknow Metro Rail, Agra to Lucknow access-controlled expressway (greenfield) project, Jhansi-Kanpur-Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Kushinagar and Lucknow-Barabanki-Nanpara Link Expressway. IT city — Chak Ganjaria city project on Lucknow-Sultanpur highway. L&T will augment the power supply network and its transportation infrastructure business will construct six-lane access controlled expressways from Unnao district to Lucknow.

Vadodara, Population — 16.6 lakh

Existing infrastructure: Narmada canal’s 10-MW solar power project, Sardar Sarovar Dam,

National Expressway 1 connecting Ahmedabad and Vadodara, NH-8 connecting Delhi and Jaipur

Proposed and ongoing projects: Vadodara-Ankleshwar Industrial area features as a general manufacturing area in the Delhi Mumbai Dedicated Freight Corridor, six-laning of Vadodara-Surat highway, four-lane Vadodara- Mumbai Expressway. Development of Statue of Unity, development of convention centre in Surat and Vadodara, IT Zone etc.

Jaipur, Population — 30.7 lakh


Existing infrastructure: Ghat Ki Guni Tunnel Project, Mahindra SEZ, among the largest IT SEZs in India; NH-8, NH-12 and NH-11 pass through Jaipur district with a total length of 366 km.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Jaipur Metro, elevated road at Durgapura. Delhi-Jaipur highway, Jaipur International Centre, International Convention Centre & Golf Course, 11 satellite towns and four growth centres within Jaipur region etc.

Pimpri-Chinchwad, Population — 17.27 lakh


Existing infrastructure: Thriving industrial and automobile manufacturing belt, Pimpri Chinchwad Science Centre, connectivity with Mumbai and Pune through the national highway.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Metro, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Ring Road, new airport near Chakan, 27 power stations to be constructed in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. International Convention Centre, riverfront development and gardens, cycling tracks etc.

Indore, Population— 21.95 lakh


Existing infrastructure: SEZ, food park, apparel park, ICD Indore-Edelabad Road and Indore-Ujjain Road. Slum development by the UK Department for International Development, PPP infrastructure projects and dry port spread over 17 acre among others.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Three-corridor metro rail, Indore-Ichhapur Road (SH-27), Indore-Ahmedabad Road (NH-59). Namkeen cluster for infrastructure development work in Bijapur, Rudhibhavsinghpura Industrial Area in Khandwa, Ujjaini Industrial

Area, non-polluting and multiproduct industrial areas – Kasarwardi, Hatod Sardarpur, Relwa Khajuri, Rehta Khadkod and Bamnia among others.

Chandigarh, Population—10.7 lakh

Existing infrastructure: Sports grounds and complex, corridor streets for fast-moving vehicular traffic, well-planned water supply distribution and underground network of pipes for disposal of sewerage and 1,400-km city road network among others.

Proposed and ongoing projects: International airport at Mohali to be connected to city airport, New Chandigarh counter magnet city with townships from Omaxe, DLF and Innovative Housing & Infrastructure Ltd, Entrepreneur Development Centre, proposed Film City etc.

Gurgaon, Population —15.1 lakh

Existing infrastructure: NH-8 accessible by linking road from Delhi-Jaipur Express Highway, drug warehouses, Maruti Suzuki plant and a big IT ITES hub.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Six-laning of NH-8 between Gurgaon and Jaipur, Delhi-Gurgaon Corridor; to be developed as a solar city; buildings over 500 sq yard to install rooftop solar power systems by September 2015, cold chain, ripening chambers, grading, sorting and packaging facilities, software technology park etc.

Rajkot, Population — 18 lakh

Existing infrastructure: Superfast train between Rajkot and Rewa, BRTS, rainwater harvesting mandatory for all buildings, computerised registration of land and property etc.

Proposed and ongoing projects: Proposed elevated bus system with assistance from Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board, Roads and buildings department to assign construction of two cement concrete roads at various villages under Suvidha Path, city municipal corporation to set up sewage treatment plant at Raiyadhar and Bedigam of 56 MLD and 76 MLD capacity, respectively. Strengthening of solid waste management (Phase I), underground drainage for Phase II and III (Part I under Sewage Disposal Network and STP), sewerage system Phase II (Part II for Rajkot City) and augmentation of water supply for the city under JNNURM.

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First published on: 14-02-2015 at 12:21:35 am
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