Smart cities on fast track
Alkesh Sharma, MD & CEO, DMICDC

A string of smart cities in the mega Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project is likely to drive urbanisation even as the planned smart cities in the first phase have sailed past the approval and planning stages and are now having the trunk infrastructure laid out.

Each of the smart city projects— Dholera in Gujarat, Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) in Maharashtra, Vikram Udyogpuri in MP and Integrated Industrial Township Greater Noida (IITGNL) in UP —is being implemented by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed between state and central governments.

“We envisages a number of self-contained, state-of-the-art industrial cities, designed to activate local commerce and boost domestic and foreign investments, generating millions of direct and indirect jobs,” says Alkesh Sharma, MD &CEO, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC.) “It would also attain sustainable development with manufacturing as the key economic driver and the projects have been planned by the government with the goal of transforming India into a global manufacturing powerhouse,” he added.

DMIC, the first of the proposed corridors, is already on the fast-track with construction work on trunk infrastructure and land allocations underway in four of the eight cities planned in the first phase of the project.


The project, estimated to cost $100 billion on completion of four phases by 2040, has eight Industrial Cities in Phase 1 of the project spread across six states. “The project is on fast-track with four Phase I cities going into construction and up to 65 per cent of project on PPP mode offering enormous opportunities for investors,” says Sharma.

“These cities are planned, financed, developed, operated and managed in accordance with global best practices and future trends in urbanisation. They have been designed with high speed road and rail connectivity, logistics hubs, reliable power and water, waste management and recycling, and commercial and social infrastructure that ensure very high quality of life for the citizens.  Above all, they will be truly ‘smart’ cities with ICT solutions to integrate all functions from traffic management, safety and security, law enforcement and emergency response, to utility services, telecommunications, e-governance and civic administration, he said.

Around 60-65 per cent of the infrastructure projects are expected to be implemented on a PPP basis; the remainder relates to trunk infrastructure for which funds provided by the government of India will be utilised. Opportunities in the areas of PPP, contractors/consultants, O&M operators, equipment suppliers, rolling stock suppliers and financing are available across the value chain.


Sharma said across DMIC projects 37 companies have been allotted land so far, totaling about 130 acres. The biggest of these allotments has been the 100-acre land parcel for South Korean conglomerate Hyosung Corporation earlier this year to set up a Rs 3,000-crore manufacturing facility in Shendra, he added.

Besides the smart cities, the DMICDC is implementing a number of ancillary projects designed to support and complement the industrial zones, and investment opportunities abound in these projects. These are in various stages of approvals, planning and implementation; and including two world-class greenfield airports being developed in Dholera and in Kotkasim of Rajasthan’s Alwar district.


Ashwin J Punnen