GIFT City & Sabarmati Riverfront: Progress report on Modi's pet projects in Gujarat
Feb 06, 2014
Source : The Economic Times


GUJATRAT: Gujarat's own smart city, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), a project envisaged by chief minister Narendra Modi and billed as India's first global financial hub, is far from completion but the pace of construction has picked up sharply in recent months. Ground zero, which comprises a special economic zone (SEZ) and a domestic finance centre, is swarming with workers moving at a furious pace to create utility facilities such as a cooling system, water treatment plant, sewage treatment plant and an information communication and technology unit (the first two towers were completed last year).

A sudden spurt in activity usually means one thing in Gujarat — a high-profile event is approaching. But Modi's showpiece investment meet, the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, is still a year away. A former senior government official, who until recently was associated with GIFT, spilled the beans. "They are getting ready because they expect Modi to form the government at the Centre," he says, asking not to be named.

The delays GIFT has faced, he said, are due to red tape and a technical glitch. He pointed to the fine print of SEZ Act 2005, Section 18 to be exact, which says the government of India will approve only one international finance centre in an SEZ and regulators such as the RBI, Sebi and Irda will issue operating guidelines, subject to government approval. But the Centre is yet to notify the guidelines that govern an international financial centre.

That explains the delay the project has faced after it was conceptualized in 2007. Today, the cost outlay has shot up to Rs 78,000 crore. Of this, Rs 10,000 crore would be provided by authorities and the rest would come as private investments.

Doubting Investors

The initial hype over GIFT soon fizzled out. Financial institutions turned fence-sitters due to lack of operating guidelines. "Unless operating guidelines are finalized by the Centre, it would be hard to attract FIs," said the official.

GIFT is back in the spotlight now. On December 31, 2013, several developers such as Ajmera Realty, Hiranandani, Arihant Developers and Lodha visited the site to explore opportunities to bid for space. Last week, IL&FS said it would develop a car parking facility and a consortium led by Tata Communications said it would establish India's largest green data centre.

Authorities also said 8.4 million sq ft of built-up area has been allotted to companies. Requests for proposal for developing commercial and residential buildings in both the SEZ and non-SEZ areas have also been floated.

Ramakant Jha, group CEO at GIFT City, says the first phase of the project is almost complete. Under this phase, 13 million sq ft will be developed, of which 8.4 million sq ft has been allotted.

Jha disagrees with accusation of delays. Work started only after June 2011 when the state government transferred 675 acres, he says. "Unless we have the land, how we can start the project? Land is a critical issue in India," he says. He could well have been talking about the problems Modi's national plans will face.

Sabarmati Riverfront

The Sabarmati Riverfront project is said to be closer to Modi's heart. The river originates from the foothills of Aravalli ranges near Udaipur, Rajasthan, and flows downstream passing through Ahmedabad till Gulf of Cambay. The 109-km river runs across a stretch of about 11 km through Ahmedabad. It is this stretch that would be developed as an ambitious urban renewal project, significantly improving "the spatial structure and habitat conditions of the river and adjoining areas".


Latest Realty News

Realty market flourishing on the outskirts of Ahmedabad
Feb 06, 2014
AHMEDABAD: Since the last few years, Ahmedabad’s real estate market is growing at a very fast pace, as new areas are being augmented with infrastructure projects and adequate basic facilities. Another reason for such growth is that the city enjoys close proximity to Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. Further, due to factors like urbanisation, tier-II cities like Ahmedabad, have become major realty destinations of late. As a result, many localities are expanding and new areas on the ou
Gujarat gets Rs 1,534 cr Nabard loan for infra development
Feb 06, 2014
AHMEDABAD: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on Monday said it has sanctioned Rs 1,533.90 crore as loan for creation of critical infrastructure such as irrigation and construction of warehouses in Gujarat.
Tata Value Homes adds 40 units in Ahmedabad
Feb 06, 2014
AHMEDABAD: Tata Value Homes, 100 % subsidiary of Tata Housing, on Tuesday announced the launch of 40 additional units, starting Rs. 12 lakh, at its ongoing affordable housing project near Ahmedabad under a special 30:70 scheme.
Gujarat Confidential: Helping hand
Feb 06, 2014
AHMEDABAD: Helping hand-Vadodara Mayor Bharat Shah turned Good Samaritan on Tuesday by lending a helping hand to victims of an accident. In the morning, while he was on his way to a private function, Shah witnessed an accident that involved a straight collision of about five vehicles on the Jail Road. An auto-rickshaw carrying two lady passengers suffered the maximum impact, with the women sustaining grievous injuries. Shah, who was also accompanied by BJP city president Bharat Dangar, immediate
Gujarat realty experimenting with marketing formats
Feb 06, 2014
GUJARAT: If the Gujarat real estate market in general and developers in Ahmedabad and Vadodara in particular, have kept the momentum going in favour of them, then it is more by design than by default. While the property markets across the country have been subdued in the last couple of years, the markets across the state have actually bucked the slowdown blues. As a matter of fact, going by the triple measurement yardstick of the growth of the given property market- capital appreciation, rental
Gujarat realty: Addressing the issue of labour shortage
Feb 01, 2014
AHMEDABAD: The real estate market of Gujarat is undoubtedly growing at a fast pace but it is not free from concerns like labour shortage. The realty sector in the state is by and large dependent on the migrant work force. For example, while masons from Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha rule the state’s construction works, carpenters are mainly from West Bengal. Those from Andhra Pradesh have a substantial presence in all categories while plumbing work is the forte of local people. Hence, if there is s
Motera: On a growth path in Ahmedabad
Feb 01, 2014
AHMEDABAD: Every area of the city has its unique identity. Likewise Motera is also known for the cricket matches held at the Sardar Patel Stadium located in that area. Further, due to its proximity with the cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, Motera has developed a lot over the last few years. It has attracted a lot of developers and house hunters owing to a number of factors.
CBRE: India beats China as ‘top choice’ for corporate expansion plans
Jan 30, 2014
AHMEDABAD: Corporate decision-makers are responding to signs of economic improvement across Europe, shifting the focus away from pure cost management to future growth opportunities, with an increased appetite for global expansion into Indian markets.
Property broker murdered in Surat
Jan 28, 2014
SURAT: Three persons, including a couple, were booked by police on Sunday in connection with the murder of a property broker in Puna police station area of the city. Police suspect that the broker was murdered over an illicit affair.
Wind power project: Panel clears urban poor housing proposal
Jan 27, 2014
SURAT: At a time when Surat Municipal Corporation's(SMC) own electricity bill is likely to cross Rs 100 crore per anum , the ruling class of the city has decided to deliberate and discuss , the proposal of setting up a Rs 47 crore windpower plant to generate own power.

Latest Realty News Of State

Realty Talk's