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Ditching laissez-faire, India plans a city


Ditching laissez-faire, India plans a city

Last updated: November 30 2008
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  • Ditching laissez-faire, India plans a city

    A year ago, this relatively small, forgettable city in the heart of India did not have an air conditioned cinema. In the sweltering heat of May, the rich here were known to fly one hour to Mumbai, the financial hub of India, to see a movie. There they stocked up on Levi’s jeans and Domino’s pizza and other big-city treats that Nagpur failed to provide.

    But in a social experiment highly unusual for this most unplanned of countries, the Indian government has handpicked Nagpur to be fattened and primped into an international metropolis. Lush parks and smooth roads have been laid, and malls and multiplex cinemas have sprouted. A drastically renovated airport is to become the cargo hub of India, with a terminal that is 100 times larger than the existing one and is to handle at least 100 jets at a time instead of the current five. An eco-friendly mass-transit system is being planned to absorb an expected surge in road traffic.

    The government is building a special economic zone with tax breaks and ready to-use water, electricity and fiber optic cable, in the hope of attracting 100,000 technology jobs to a city long dominated by coal mining.

    One hundred million people are moving to cities in the next 10 years, and it’s important that these 100 million are absorbed into second-tier cities instead of showing up in Delhi or Mumbai according to the Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

    Since its independence in 1947, the city-building philosophy of India has been, to put it tenderly, laissez-faire.

    Except for the recently developed technology hubs of Bangalore and Hyderabad, India has not added cosmopolitan, globally connected, metropolises to its old ones: Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. As the Indian population tripled, the 1.1 billion people living on about 3 million square kilometres were left to scramble for space and opportunity in the few thousand square kilometers that contained well-paid jobs, 24-hour electricity and air conditioned cinemas.

    The existing metropolises will reach saturation points before long, or have already reached such points, and re-engineering their capacities for further growth is not easy. New metropolises could erode poverty, easing the load on cramped, Dickensian cities and creating more hubs where rural migrants can go for jobs in textile mills or the retail sector. More international airports could help raise incomes for the 700 million rural Indians by making it easier for their produce to reach export markets.

    The Indian metropolis building might also be an environmental boon. Upstart cities like Nagpur, on which millions have yet to descend, can grow on an eco-friendly model, with green spaces, mass transit and rainwater harvesting, in a way that old cities, with entrenched infrastructure, cannot.
  • #2


    Re : Ditching laissez-faire, India plans a city

    NAGPUR Best place to enjoy life



    Right now the world economy is in turmoil. Several of the most trusted names over the last century or more in the field of finance and investment are suffering unimaginable miseries.
    Even in India the markets have fallen a long way during the last 8 months. Most banks are offering interest rates on deposits at around 10% on deposits whereas the inflation is still over 12%. So in real terms investing in Bank FD is a losing proposition!
    So what are the remaining options for investment and beating the inflation simultaneously? David Ricardo the British economist (famous for his theory on rent) is back in fashion!

    In any case unlike several other assets your land does not vanish like profits in share markets, cannot be stolen like gold and other assets in that class and fluctuations in prices (especially a fall) is not as frequent as in other forms of investment. Therefore, investment in land is the best option in any circumstance.


    Until recently the historical city of Nagpur in central India was a sleepy town...almost an overgrown village. Then MIHAN (Multimodal International Hub Airport Nagpur) along! Suddenly Nagpur has become an attractive investment destination.

    Nagpur is the second greenest city in India. If one were to look for a good place to settle down in life one would look for several things.

    a)Good infrastructure
    b)Relatively low pollution levels
    c)Good law and order situation and reasonable expectation of safety
    d)Educational facilities
    e)Medical facilities
    f)Good connectivity by air, road and rail

    Nagpur offers all these facilities in good measure.
    The law and order situation in Nagpur is very good and there is hardly any record of communal riots, terrorist attacks, daring robberies etc in the living memory of this city.
    Nagpur has 27 engineering colleges including an NIT that are as good as any in the country. There are 13 medical colleges, dental colleges, ayurvedic and homoeopathy colleges. There are a couple of Business Management Schools as well.

    It has a good number of parks, lakes and other naturally beautiful spots.
    There are various scientific and research institutions such as NEERI, CICR, an institute on citrus fruits.

    There are several forest resorts in the vicinity of Nagpur such as Karmajheeri, Tadoba, Kanha etc.


    In this area Nagpur scored heavily because of its strategic location. Its weather is also ideally suited for aviation. In all seasons visibility will be clear in Nagpur and there is never a blinding fog as in Delhi during the winters. Because of all these reasons Nagpur was chosen as the site of MIHAN project.
    Alongside MIHAN a huge township and SEZ with its own captive power plant, water supply etc is coming up. All these developments have caused several business houses to make a beeline for Nagpur.

    Already tech biggies like Satyam, Wipro and Hexaware have acquired lands in and around the MIHAN area. Real estate big names like DLF, Raheja, Sahara Housing and Ascenda have launched their projects. American aircraft manufacturer Boeing is setting up its MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) center.

    With all these giants coming up the future employment and business potential is huge. Since educational facilities are already in place these big businesses won’t have to look far to hire skilled manpower.

    It is well known that wherever a giant business comes up it also spawns several smaller businesses that thrive on it.

    With all this the economy of Nagpur is set to boom.

    So by owning some property in Nagpur you are closest the most happening place in India (perhaps even the world).


    Have any questions or thoughts about this?