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Dholera is a small town in the State of Gujarat, India and is an ancient port-city in the Gulf of Khambhat, 30 km from Dhandhuka village and 140 km from Ahmedabad city at the Gulf of Cambay. Dholera had been a flourishing port in Gujarat with a prosperous trade till early 15-18thcentury and had its trade link to Zanzibar, Africa and several other parts of the world.
Dholera is also known for having one of the original six temples built by ‘Bhagvan Swaminarayan’ at this place. The making of this temple with three spires was supervised and planned directly by Nishkulanand Swami. ‘Bhagvan Swaminarayan’ graced Dholera on the request from Punjabhai and on May 19, 1826he himself installed the idols of ‘Madan Mohan dev’ and his own form, HarikrishnaMaharaj, at the principal seat of the temple amidst Vedic hymns. ‘Bhagvan Swaminarayan’ then appointed Adbhutanand Swami as the temple's Mahant. Recently the government is planning to develop a smart city at Dholera, with an objective to revive the importance of Dholera in business and trade, and want to develop Dholera as a Special Investment Region (SIR).
India is building its first smart city ‘Dholera-SIR’ near Dholera, District Ahmadabad. Dholera-SIR (Special Investment Region) is blessed with a strong commitment from government to provide a world class infrastructure and good connectivity, in terms of road, Rail, Sea and air, with all major cities around it.
Dating back to 15th century, Dholera was a leading port-town and was a leading business centre for India. Dholera was a leading commercial centre and was in business due to its naval strength and rich port. The footprint of Dholera was marked over entire globe and was a common choice for international trade. Government has made a firm commitment to revive and achieve back the rich glory of this ancient port-town, Dholera. Keeping this in view a big modernisation drive is launched.
Dholera-SIR region is a group of 22 villages, and is made reality by transforming it into a planned city. The entire planning and execution work is entrusted to a consortium led by M/s Halcrow, UK, and the project is empowered by a ‘Special Investment Region Act 2009’by the government, with a vision to build a smart city equipped with all infrastructure and support.
Dholera-SIR is being equipped with an International Airport at Navagam, Metro train connectivity with Ahmedabad and a Rapid transport facility for easy commuting within the city. These projects when completed it will transform Dholera in to India’s Smart city lashed with most modern infrastructure.
Vibrant 2017 has seen momentum in the investment spree, already there are several announcements by major heavy weight players of the industry like, Reliance, Airbus, Cadila Laboratories, and counting. Declaration of a separate defence park by micro, small and medium enterprise board in Dholera is a great push for the development for this region.
A big breakthrough in this direction is achieved when it is announced that Dholera-SIR development authority project proposed by ‘Dholera Industrial City Development Ltd.’ is nominated as a ‘Best City for Integrated Planning’ from World CSR Day and is confer with & Global Excellence Award for year 2017.
Dholera-SIR is a sub-project of the grand DMIC Project, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. This project is introduced to reduce the distance between two metro cities by introducing a freight corridor. The Dholera-SIR is located in the center of the two city and therefore it is proposed to reduce the rush experienced in both the cities Mumbai and Delhi. Therefore,Dholera-SIRhas vast opportunity for the development. Due to this strategic advantage, the city can provide more jobs, large business opportunities and can accommodate more population. Dholera-SIR is vast and wide in area and is almost twice that of current area of Delhi metro City. The proposed aerial view of the development vision of Dholera-SIR is as shown.
The blue print of the detailed breakup of the facility and infrastructure planned at the Dholera-SIR gives a great benefit.
The facility is divided in to several segments and it is seen that the facility and infrastructure of road and other network can give a hassle-free development of the entire city. The city is planned with an up-to-date infrastructure and equipped with all kinds of facility. The provision of facility includes city centre (commercial activity centre), industrial park (cluster of different industry), logistic support (area reserved for the train and bus terminal and facility for transportation and exchange of goods). ‘high-tech’ knowledge and IT park (where software related business activity is proposed), it also has recreation and sports facility along with area for entertainment where theatre and other facility is available. It is important to note that in order to tackle the city from the challenges of the future, the city is also properly planned to have renewable energy generation facility. The area with ‘red–salmon’ colour is reserved as a solar energy park (the second last item in the table on the right).
Dholera is being developed in such a way that the entire region will be well connected with all the major cities around it, by rail and road network, and even by seaways.
A 10 lane or 250 m wide road is sanctioned between Ahmedabad and Dholera, this will bring down the existing travel distance between Ahmedabad and Dholera city from 110 km to 80 km. this will reduce travel time merely to 45 minutes only.
The central iconic structure of the Dholera and other related infrastructure is called as activation area of Dholera. Development of this area is the key for the development of entire city. The infrastructure and facility provided at the activation area will lead to rapid investment and growth of city.
The black shaded area at the centre of the city is the central hub of the Dholera-SIR. This is also known as iconic integrated central hub for the Dholera-SIR. The area of which is around 22 squareKM and consist of office space, central metro terminal, 10 lane road corridor interaction area and other facility. This iconic structure ofDholera-SIR is a major attraction.The development of this structure is the central to the development of the entire region surrounding it. The construction work for this part of the project is already awarded to ‘L&T infrastructure and projects’ and the actual construction havealready started and work is in full swing. It is expected that this facility will be completed by 2019 and by then Dholera-SIR authority is planning to create infrastructure and other facility for inhabiting 1,00,000 people in this area.
entire area of the Dholera region is spanned in 580 km and will fully develop in period of 30 years’ time. It is divided into total 6 Town Planning (TP) schemes, each will take 4-5 year to complete. Each TP scheme will be developed one after other, starting from north to south. Each TP scheme will be providing modern infrastructure facility to the entire region. First TP scheme, TP 1 is already approved and is due to start its execution soon.
Another push to the development of the Dholera-SIR is its ‘high-tech’ and most modern international airport. It is expected that once the operation of this international airport will start DHOLARA-SIR will be able to share the international traffic of the presently saturated Dubai airport. It is also proposed to have several other commercial facilities around this international airport for duty free purchase of goods. The airport is located in the village Navagam and is 10 KM from the central iconic structure of Dholera-SIR.
Dholera international airport, which is being developed in the area of 1430 hectors. The airport will have double strip runway and, when ready for operation it will have a capacity to handle 2600 aircraft at any time. Aviation ministry is strictly monitoring this project and it has declared 2023 as the date of the first flight to fly from this airport. The required project approval is obtained and the tenders for the work is already announced. The region surrounding this international airport will be specially developed and will be given a shape of an Aerotropolis, or an airport based village. This Aerotropolis will be built in the area of 2000 hectares surrounding to International Airport. It is expected that this entire Aerotropolis will be a central hub for the business activity. The entire area will be a major destination of business activity in entire south-east Asia region and will attract number of foreign travellers to stop over at this facility for a small business meeting or to purchase goods, like jewellery and electronics items.
Another major highlight of the Dholera-SIRproject is building of bridge-cum-dam connectivity between Bhruch and Bhavnagar. For this a full-fledge bridge for the length of 37 KM is proposed. This multipurpose project will have many positive outcomes on the growth and economy of the Dholera-SIR project. First it will offer saving of 370 KM travel to reach from Bhruch to Bhavnagar. This distance will be reduced to just by 37 KM with the help of the Kalpsar Bridge. Similar savings can be obtained in case of rail transport. Additional benefit of this bridge is that it will virtually seal the entry of sea water in the gulf of Khambhat and because of this a vast area of sea which is filled with salt water will be converted in a pool of ‘Sweat Water Lake’ popularly known as kalpsar. The creation of sweet water lake will be a great commercial opportunity also. This lake can be used for raising sweet water fish farming and an opportunity of earning a large foreign exchange by export of these products. The third benefit of kalpsar dam is to generate renewable energy by employing mini hydro generator on the walls of the 37 KM dam. The operation of these turbines is made feasible due to the large tide and ebb occurring in this region on daily basis. Initial feasibility study for the project is already completed and project will formally be launched soon. It is expected that the proposed bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will include this route and the cost of the project will be utilised to mobilise the funds for the Kalpsar project.
Meanwhile the government is proposed to introduce a RO-RO facility between Dahej and Ghogha, the proposed date for the launch of the project is 1st April, 2017. This facility will utilise a large ship vessel which will allow car and trucks to transport from one end to other end of the sea (1,000 car and truck at a time). The duration of the journey of this large vassal is approximately 1 and a half hours for a distance of 37 KM. Once the vassal reaches the other end vehicles can be directed to the road and can move to the required destinations. Figure shows the comparison of distance using Ro-Ro facility and a conventional route to reach Ghogha from Dahej.
Central government already gave its clearance and budget allocation with a financial approval of Rs. 234 Crore (1 Crore is 10 million) for the Ghogha-Dahej ferry service in Gujarat. A final date for the service to be operational is announced as March, 2018. It is believed that this project will be a prelaunch for the Kalpsar project and will help in establishing the initial feasibility for the project.
Due to the facility and infrastructure proposed in the Dholera-SIR, several projects financed by privateinvestorsare started taking shape in and around the region of Dholera. These projects are involving sale of plots for residence purpose and the sale of industrial land for establishing small to medium industry. Several villages around Dholera-SIR are already provided with clean drinking water facility, 24x7 basis, from Narmada River through the canal network. This facility gives rise to several residential projects in and around Dholera-SIR. At present these projects are engaged in sale of a plot of land for residential purpose. The region is helpful if you want to invest in capital investments, residential projects, if you are planning to buy property for residential purpose. It is argued that once these project is implemented the current low price of the plots can easily give three-five times returns. Investment in plot at this time is ideal to build affordable housing for residence. Several investors are keen in investing in the purchase of plots and for industrial lands. It is expected that once the Dholera-SIR project will be executed and will take the shape in the form of a full fledge city, the associated infrastructure and facility provided in the Dholera-SIRcan be a useful benefit for these projects, located in the periphery, and therefore these projects will be an ideal location for residing. Motivating by these facts we are happy to launch a twin project Neelkanth School and Neelkanth Residency.