With the Yamuna Expressway being planned as a new lifeline for growth and development in Delhi-NCR, the plan to set up four new smart cities — as part of the Centre’s ambitious mega plan to build 100 smart cities — along the Expressway will act as a strong booster dose to the vision
To mitigate housing scarcity around Delhi-NCR and decongest some old cities in Uttar Pradesh along the Yamuna river, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) has decided to develop four new smart cities along the Yamuna Expressway.
These new cities, along the 185-km high-speed link that connects Delhi with Agra, will come up in Uttar Pradesh’s district areas of Aligarh, Mathura, Agra and Hathras.
Officials of the agency are convinced once the new cities are in place along the Expressway it will immensely lessen the load on the national Capital which is bursting at its seams with people from across the country migrating to cities like Delhi fora better life.
The Authority will develop 11,100-hectare of urban centre in Tappal-Bajna area in Aligarh, 8,910-hectare in Raya of Mathura, 10,600-hectare in Agra and 1,500-hectare in Hathras thereby easing the load on these congested cities.
YEIDA has already readied a draft of the Master Plan for these four cities under its second phase of urbanisation. The authority had hired the services of a private consultant that has made a presentation of the draft Master Plan. In the Plan, the land-use pattern in these four proposed urban centres has been identified. The YEIDA board has approved the Master Plan. It has now invited objections and suggestions from the public before giving a final nod to it.
YEIDA has already finalised the land rates in these proposed four cities. It will also come up with schemes to lure developers. The new cities will offer employment and affordable housing to people, according to the Authority.
To take care of the recreational needs of the people living around the Yamuna Expressway, theAuthority also has plans to develop dedicated entertainment zones along the high-speed link. These zones would be spread over an area of 2,000 acre along the Expressway, which connects Greater Noida with Agra.
Gupta said many private players are interested in developing the dedicated entertainment zones along the Expressway. Some developers are demanding more land but YEIDA is yet to finalise these deals. “The Expressway is set to emerge as a hub for entertainment facilities,” he added.
To bring on board farmers who have been protesting against the Authority for more compensation against the land acquired from them, the YEIDA board has come up with several schemes.
Gupta said farmers can also take industrial plot with 10 per cent discount and set up an industrial unit to employ their children. “We will also open technical institutes along the Expressway to train farmers’ children, who can get themselves trained and find employment,” the CEO added.
According to reports, however, the YEIDA promises have failed to convince the aggrieved framers. One of their leaders, Raghuraj Singh, was quoted in the media as saying: “If the Government wants to develop smart cities, why can’t it do the same on uncultivable land? Why is the Government acquiring fertile farmland to damage the region’s ecology? The Government should build sustainable cities.Unlike Ghaziabad, Noida or Delhi, we depend on the Ganga even for drinking water”