The millennium city just got a lot bigger. It will now stretch all the way to, and include, Manesar.

What started off as a suburb across Delhi's southern borders has become a city in itself, with the 1971 population of 57,000 now touching 22 lakh and set to increase to 37 lakh by 2021.

Gurgaon's new Master Plan, notified on February 5 (a gazetted copy of which is with TOI), makes it clear that the city's construction boom is only likely to become more frenetic.

With the private-government partnership development model for the residential sector of 'New Gurgaon', private players will have a large role to play as Gurgaon grows even more rapidly than at present.

Besides a lion's share in the residential sector, private players will be permitted to develop 50% of area marked for commercial sectors.

The development plan is for a total of 37,069 hectares against the 9,881-hectares target of the 2001 plan. This includes special economic zones of 4,570 hectares and existing towns and villages in the region.

While the plan looks to focus on residential development - read more and more highrises - it also earmarks 5,441 hectares for industrial and commercial development. The inclusion of Manesar and its industrial environs is an indication of this.

There is news for Gurgaon residents who have begun to despair of connectivity with Delhi. Two 90-metre-wide link roads have been planned.

One is from Vasant Kunj to Mehrauli Road and Gurgaon, the other between Andheria Mor and Faridabad road through Mandi and Gwal Pahari.

Another 150-metre-wide link road has been proposed from Dwarka to Palam Vihar. An additional corridor along the 150-metre northern link to Delhi extending from Dwarka has been proposed in the final development plan 2021 while a similar MRTS will come up along Mehrauli road up to the proposed inter state bus terminal at Kherki Dhaula.

This will be extended to Manesar. A 150-metre road would be constructed along the NH 8, or Delhi-Jaipur highway, which will ensure that traffic entering Gurgaon flows smoothly.

This is essential if traffic which gets off the highway and moves in and out of Udyog Vihar and Cybergreens is not to be choked.

To cater to a projected population of 37 lakh, 14,930 hectares have been marked for residential purposes. Some 8,000 hectares have already been developed by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and private developers and this is expected to accommodate some 20 lakh people. The additional 6,930 hectares would accommodate 15 lakh people by 2021.

The city's future would seem to be set in glass and concrete as is already visible in the case of New Gurgaon. There will be an explosion of malls and corporate parks.

"The new commercial areas will be in the form of big malls and corporate commercial complexes. In addition, commercial belts with the width of 200 metres have also been provided along the selected roads to cater to the needs of the surrounding areas,"states the gazette notification.
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  • Gurgaon

    Is this Realy True.
  • Originally Posted by canman
    I have been a Canadian Resident for the last 5 years. I don’t know why but I migrated from Vancouver to Gurgaon in 2005 and started a business. Due to business commitments, I was unable to live in Canada for 2 mandatory years to satisfy my residency requirements. In 2011, I will finally lose out on my PR and have no options to move out of India.

    Last year, I downsized my business operations and now thinking of shutting it down and moving overseas. (Lack of professionalism and very expensive real estate due to which profits are just diminishing.)

    To my bad luck, I might not qualify to enter Canada again as a resident. That means I might have to end up living the rest of my life in Gurgaon and witness it dying.

    The frustration is even more when I think of the fact that I can buy a 4 bedroom house and have a good standard of quality living with 2-3 crores in Canada and my kids can also get some sort of security and support from the system. They will atleast be closer to nature and become normal and ethical human beings.

    I am no ABCD (American Born Confused Desi). I am a 100% Indian who has spent over 35 years in this country and felt proud to be an Indian at one point in time. Today, I regret my decision of leaving Canada and choosing a depressing life in Gurgaon, India.

    Gurgaon or most of India has become very chaotic. Everyone talks about money, money and money. People have such a bad attitude. No smiling faces. Everyone seems depressed. Visit the pubs, people are less into enjoyment and more into creating nuisance. I visited two up market pubs last week and people were shamelessly smoking.

    I crave for outdoor activities and there are none. No parks or anything left. You will just find sad, irritated or angry people around you. With the new money, everyone has forgotten basic manners and courtesy.


    I want to ask fellow members as to what they think is going to happen to this poorly managed country. :bab (44):

    Hello.. U R right !! what do you did after that...?
  • huda readies to utilize funds

  • HC strict on hero honda chowk resolution

  • Adventure sports get a new venue in Millennium City

    The residents of the Millennium City got a new venue for adventure sports.

    The Raw Adventurez which was launched on Sunday will offer a wide range of activities, including off-raod tracking and grape crushing. Located at village Bhandwari in Gurgaon, the facility comprises

    off-road tracks for all-terrain vehicles (ATV), sport utility vehicles (SUVs) storming, Harley cruising, rock climbing, grape crushing and wine tasting.
    “The idea was to get adventure closer to people. We want people to get out of their luxurious homes, lose the pampered lifestyle for a day and experience the wild, the mud, the slush, the heat,” said Amanveer Singh, director of Ten Events and Entertainment and one of the founders of Raw Adventurez.

    The ambiance for all the adventure sports was artificially made by digging at few spots, making large mud dunes and gushing liters of water.

    “It took us 14 days to make it look like this. We used cranes, JCBs, etc. The tracks were designed by the beat of professionals from the teams of Royal Rajasthan Rally, Raid De Himalaya, and Desert Storm,” said Gulati.

    On Sunday, more than 150 Harley Davidson bikes, SUVs and ATVs participated in the event. “It’s all about passion. The facility is open to only those invited. People here want to experiment with new concepts,” added Singh.

    Adventure sports get a new venue in Millennium City - Hindustan Times
  • There was this eco-village/ camping site launched with great fanfare during the CWG. The location was just before the toll on the left side of road when coming from Delhi on NH8.

    Not sure how many people stayed there during the CGW, but all I see now is weeds and trash !... Anyone know what the plans for that are...

    For all we know, it may be getting ready to be sold off as a commercial site after changing the CLU to the son-in-law..
  • power lines to go underground in phases

    power lines to go underground in phases, excellent development hope to see fast execution and more and more areas


  • MCG chief goes on cleanliness drive

    After assuming office, the new municipal commissioner Ashok Sangwan held his first meeting with the sanitation department officials on Tuesday. Apart from senior officials, many contractors who are undertaking the sanitation work in the city also attended the meeting.

    In the meeting the commissioner insisted that all the concerned officials and contractors should work towards improving the sanitation level in the MCG area. There have been several issues plaguing the issue of sanitation in the city, including allegations of corruption levied against several officials in the department. In fact, while the sanitation contract for zone - 4 is yet to be awarded, even though the process was initiated over a year ago. Moreover the authorities refuse to commit by which date this process will finally get over.

    "Corruption is deep-rooted in the sanitation department, with various sanitation contractors trying to bribe officials in order to get the contract. In fact some of these agencies that were disqualified in the technical bid are still trying to hamper the contract process due to which the contract of zone-4 is yet to be awarded," said a senior official.

    Commenting on Tuesday's meeting with the commissioner, the sanitation committee's vice-chairman and ward - 2 councillor Ravinder Yadav said that the installation of bio-metric devices to mark the attendance of sanitation workers was discussed. He,however, claimed that he "forgot" to discuss the delay awarding the zone-4 contract.

    "It completely missed my mind to apprise him about this issue. This is a very serious issue and I will talk to the commissioner about it the next time I meet it. The reason for the delay is because the senior officials are not doing their work properly and due to some corruption charges. We will expedite the process of installing bio-metric devices in all the wards," he said.

    MCG chief goes on cleanliness drive - The Times of India
  • Gurgaon police to handover receipts for FIR to bring more transparency

    Out to render accountability in its functioning, Gurgaon police will now be handing over receipts of complaints /FIR to residents. The ambitious promise made by CP Alok Mittal took no time in being realized as the receipts have been already printed and sent to police stations.

    "Registration of crime is the first step of dealing with it. To make ourselves answerable for registering complaints we will be giving out receipts. This will aid people in checking status of there cases and report delay if any," said police commissioner Mittal.

    The new CP had earlier admitted that registration of complaints was still a herculean task in city where maximum people complained that police evaded registration of cases. The CP had proposed giving out receipts to ensure that all crime in city is acknowledged and people can question authorities in case of delay.

    "With receipts it will be easy for people to track complaints and a written document will make our registration system more important. It's our first major step to make residents empowered of questioning us. We have got the recipes," said an SHO.

    Gurgaon police to hand over receipts of FIR to residents - The Times of India
  • info on power outages online for citizens

    while this is welcome, it will be even more usefull if there are lesser and lesser outages :).

    It is quite a relief for residents as the official website of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) has a separate link putting out information on scheduled power cuts on a 24-hourly basis. Along with the hours of the outage (start time and end time), the discom has a column explaining the reason for the cuts like overdrawing or fault in lines, etc.

    To add to this, the Haryana power minister, Ajay Singh Yadav, has announced that the consumers will be able to lodge complaints online.

    The new system will not only record the time of complaint register but will also fix a deadline for grievance redress.

    The power minister said that under the system of grievance redress employees will have to redress grievances in a timely manner, else the system would automatically escalate the complaint to the next higher authority.

    "There are fixed number of days for redressing each complaint after which the complaints would automatically be sent to the next higher official on the hierarchy list," said Yadav. The next officer will also get the stipulated number of days for redress of the grievance after which the grievance would move up in the hierarchy.

    Eventually, the grievance would reach the inbox of the officer highest in the hierarchy - the director and then the managing director.

    Also, consumers who do not have access to the internet can go to the sub-divisional officer of the discom and get their complaint registered. Also, if a consumer does not have the basic knowledge of operating a computer, the discom officials will have to file the complaint on his behalf.

    This system will register all types of complaints including commercial matters, billing, metering, connection, system expansion and system upkeep. For best results, one can also lodge a complaint on the helpline number.
  • lets walk gurgaon a citizens organization exploring hidden greens of gurgaon

    How much can a morning walk mean to you? A drear-eyed stroll to the neighbourhood park or a round of the colony to keep yourself fit? If that is all that comes to your mind, meet Let’s Walk Gurgaon, lovingly called LWG - a 2000 plus community of early morning walkers in Gurgaon who are exploring the satellite city like never before.

    These adventure lovers together discover the untouched greens of Gurgaon - its villages, hills, ‘developed’ and ‘undeveloped’ biodiversity spots and wildlife. Alongside, they make new friends, enjoy a weekly picnic and discover the joys of a morning walk completely anew.

    This group has been running, rather walking, for over two years now. Sehba Imam, a writer and resident of DLF Phase III, Gurgaon and the brain behind this group informs Metrolife, “As a writer, I often scribble into the wee hours of night. One such night in 2010, after I finished work around four in the morning, I decided to take my dog out for a walk.”

    “We wandered into the biodiversity park close to my house and I was astonished to see how beautiful it looks at dawn. After a two-hour long, literally eye-opening walk, I came back home and informed my friends about it. Together, we decided to go for more such walks and in fact institutionalise it in the form of a Facebook group. Within a month, we had 200 members and now it is 2000 plus and counting.”

    She adds that it includes school and college students, housewives, professionals and anyone who wants to join them. The youngest regular walker in the group is a four-and-a-half year old, who drags his mother to the excursions every morning, and the oldest is a 65-year old who little minds the cold and the steep climbs.

    Earlier, they used to go for one walk a week - Saturday mornings, 4:30 in summer and 6:30 in winter. Now they have started a monthly full-moon night walk as well. One or two persons do a reccee beforehand and then the whole group follows it.

    Sehba says, “We generally start from a village like say, Sehjavas, Tikli, Mangar, Damdama or Bhondsi Ashram and then meander into the Aravalli foothills nearby. We have discovered beautiful green spots, lakes, wildlife like whole families of foxes, neelgai, peacocks and other birds.”

    “We have breakfast together and make new friends. It is also a great opportunity to teach your children discipline, organisational skills and team work. We always move together making sure no one, whether children or the elderly, are left behind.”

    There is one more unexpected benefit of these morning excursions. Sehba says, “When we visit a village, especially in the small hours, people always have this fear that the inhabitants may harm them. The urban-rural divide in Gurgaon is anyways

    “Fortunately though, in our more than two years of walking, we have never had any unpleasant incident. The villagers welcome us into their homes, enquire about our walks and even offer hookah, chhachh, chai etc. It really helps bridge a mental gap we carry in our minds today.”

    LWG has mapped many green nooks and crannies of Gurgaon already but they insist that there’s plenty more to unravel. Sehba says, “We want to do it all as fast as possible. Many forests we saw a year back are plots for flats and malls now. Who knows if Gurgaon stays the same in future or not?”
  • Originally Posted by Amitsharmaa
    Hello.. U R right !! what do you did after that...?

    I moved to another country.
  • Originally Posted by canman
    I moved to another country.

    which country ?
  • article on golf course road upgradation project

    Head: Faster Connectivity | EPC World

    DLF-HUDA 16 lane Expressway, now a hassle free ride for commuters in just seven minutes, Lovina Kinny takes a closer look…

    Hassle free ride in Delhi’s satellite town, Gurgaon, will now become the new mantra. To clear traffic bottlenecks, country’s real estate major DLF in association with the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is building a 16-lane dedicated corridor linking DLF’s Gateway Tower in Cyber City to the Golf Course Road. This will also bring to an end the nightmare of nearly 1.5 million residents and commuters from outskirts of Gurgaon working in cities numerous offices.

    “The objective is to provide optimum solution for traffic movements in the area based on present and projected traffic demand in future,” says Rohit Malik, VP – Planning, DLF Ltd.

    When asked for the reason that made the realty major to foray in the road construction business, Malik clarifies, “DLF is not entering into the road construction business. The project has been undertaken to facilitate traffic movement from NH-8 to sector 55/56 where a number of residential and commercial projects have already come up, and are also under development.”
    The `600 crore project is being executed under a cost sharing agreement between HUDA and DLF “…and is not really a joint venture,” states Malik. Phase-I of the project is estimated to cost around `450 crore which will increase to approx `650 crore after implementation of phase-II.

    While HUDA will contribute towards this project from its EDC corpus earmarked to upgrade the road sector, DLF will be contributing the balance funds to upgrade this spinal road to world class standards, he further informs.

    HUDA will also facilitate/ expedite various approvals from government agencies like the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (HVPNL), Forest Department and other internal departments of HUDA. “This will ensure speedier implementation,” adds Malik.

    There exists number of encroachments on the corridor however; HUDA has been proactive in removing some of these encroachments to widen the road. “Almost 95% land is now available, and the balance 5% land will have to be taken over by HUDA,” states DLF spokesperson.

    Characteristic Features

    The concept to upgrade this spinal road to international standards is developed by one of the leading international consultants AECOM. The contract for project execution has been awarded to IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Ltd, while renowned international consultant Parson Brinckeroff is the Project Management Consultant.

    The 10.5 km signal free corridor is divided into two chainages. First chainage is along NH-8 of 2.2 km i.e. from DLF square to toll plaza and second chainage is of 8.3 km – from Gateway tower junction to Sector 55/56. The expressway will have 6 underpasses and one flyover.

    According to Malik, the concept plan has been revised by AECOM, the design consultant and lane width is changed to 3.5 m which is as per IRC standards.
    Traffic merging into this corridor and branching out had to be segregated from the main corridor. “Six-lane carriageways on both sides of NH-8 would be constructed from the toll plaza to DLF Square building to streamline traffic and feed into 16 lane road,” states Malik adding “there is a dedicated corridor for Sector 25 to Sector 55/56 to mitigate traffic conflict and thereby enable smooth flow of main traffic.”

    In addition, there will be Slip Roads between NH-8 Service Roads and Cyber City Area, two Unidirectional Underpasses near Gateway Tower Junction, two Unidirectional, U-Turn Underpasses near Building 5 and 7B, 6-lane Bidirectional Underpass at Sikanderpur Junction and Arjun Marg, and 3-Lane Unidirectional Flyover at Sikanderpur Junction.

    The toll-free road will provide commuters with an uninterrupted drive all along the stretch including DLF Phase I, II, IV and V, Belvedere Park and Belvedere Tower, Sectors 55, 56, 58, 59, 60 and 61. “The major consideration while designing this expressway was to ensure that a high speed, signal free corridor should be available for traffic from NH-8 to Sector 55/56,” says Malik.

    The expressway has been designed to take maximum traffic possible and as per the urban planning standards, the corridor is designed for average speed limit of 60 km/hr. “It is expected that this plan will provide solution to the current traffic congestion scenario for a long period,” opines spokesperson.
    Further, a utility corridor has been designed to facilitate future maintenance of utilities without causing any nuisance to public. “Utility shifting and traffic diversion will be a challenging task as the project is in urban area and an IT hub therefore, phase wise construction will be implemented to reduce the impact of these obstacles.” For underpass drainage, micro tunneling is being used to avoid any flooding during heavy rains.

    The road is seamlessly integrated into the urban infrastructure which comprises of sewerage, drainage systems and other utilities making it an integral part of the urban system.

    Technology & Sustainability

    To ensure smooth and pothole free roads, latest technologies have been used to execute the project. This will enable uniform utilization of 78 meter right of way from Gateway Tower, in DLF Cyber City to end of Gurgaon Sector 55/56 corridor.

    The contactor has been instructed to follow IRC and MORTH standards for design, says DLF spokesperson, “and they have to incorporate proper drainage while designing the road.”

    For quality supervision, we have hired Parsons Brinckerhoff, an internationally renowned consultant, for project management consultancy. While for safety, supervision will be done through CCTV cameras in critical areas, he further adds.

    All electrical OHE HT lines will be diverted through underground cabling in a dedicated corridor from NH-8 Junction to Sector 55/56 whereas all OFC/Telecom cables are to be relocated in dedicated corridor.

    The Expressway will also help in achieving greater energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Says Malik, “Keeping in view aesthetics and urban environment, underpasses have been conceived instead of flyovers. Moreover, the underpasses and a long flyover will enable commuters to reach the Golf Course Road from the Gurgaon toll plaza within seven minutes from current 30 minutes and also reduce air pollution as well as fuel consumption on this expressway.”

    After completion of the maintenance period the corridor will be handed over to HUDA. “There is no revenue generating model for this road upgradation project. It will enhance Gurgaon’s infrastructure,” states Malik.
    The new road project will be fully integrated with the alignment of the rapid Metro, is expected to be operational in the next 36 months offering some relief from crumbling infrastructure in Delhi’s suburb.
  • what gurgaon can learn from Greater Noida

    FG: The Greater Story

    Gurgaon and Greater NOIDA live and breathe in the same Region (NCR), but their origin and subsequent development has forced the cities to assume different characters. While Gurgaon represents the might of private builders, and has real estate driven growth, Greater NOIDA is the product of a bureaucratic system that is often dysfunctional and inert in its functioning, but has managed to deliver a city with a futuristic outlook.

    The success of the Greater NOIDA experiment perhaps lies in the creation of an independent Authority manned by able administrators, who were given a comparatively free hand in planning and decision making by the political establishment. Gurgaon was primarily handed over to private builders – turning it into a maze of glitzy malls, shining offices, and gated residential colonies. This has unfortunately led to a failure of urban planning, and the pangs of growth and greed are now being felt across the City – that is crawling due to inadequate and poor infrastructure.

    Greater NOIDA stands out in stark comparison, as it has a comprehensive Master Plan for an urban conglomeration. City watchers say that when Gurgaon was witnessing a construction frenzy led by builders, Greater NOIDA was developing civic infrastructure – that includes a solid road network, drainage, sewage, water supply and underground power infrastructure. This has taken it miles ahead as far as urban facilities are concerned.

    Yogender Sinha, a senior official of the Greater NOIDA Authority, says that the creation of an independent authority to manage the controlled area has been a master stroke for the urban development process. “The idea was to promote a planned development, integrated with industrial development, for achieving the NCR Plan objective of dispersal of population and economic activities outside Delhi. It also aimed at low density development, coupled with regional level institutional and recreational activities to serve the entire Region, and to create ample work opportunities,” says Sinha.

    The Greater NOIDA Authority acquired around 90,000 hectares of land from farmers, and developed the key infrastructure; and only after that was it given to private developers for building residential colonies. In Gurgaon, the reverse has happened, as the Department of Town and Country Planning issued licences wherever these were applied for, and the developers kept on building apartments irrespective of whether the buyers would be able to commute, live and breathe in that space. It is perhaps for this reason that increasingly the residents in Gurgaon are out on the streets fighting both the builders as well as the authorities, over poor external and internal civic infrastructure.

    Greater NOIDA, in comparison, is a picture of serenity. Sinha says that the road network has been planned in a way that the area does not require signals, and nowhere are the roads choked. The minimum width of the sector roads in Greater NOIDA is 12 meters – more than Gurgaon. Every plot is park facing, and sewers and water pipelines have been provided on both sides of the road, so that these are not dug up every time a house owner needs a connection. Pollution is far less as compared to other areas in the NCR, as there are more green spaces, and power supply is adequate.
    Greater NOIDA, which has close to 3 lakhs population – and is projected to go to 12 lakhs by 2021 – has planned green space that accounts for almost 16 per cent of the area developed by the Authority.

    Arvind Mohan, an official, says that the most important facet is a very strong monitoring system, which ensures that works awarded by the Authority—whether these are related to sanitation, sewage, maintaining parks or other works—are executed as per the laid-down standards. “There is a team of 20 officials who keep a check on the ongoing maintenance work,” he asserts, while pointing out that the multiple agencies in Gurgaon are weak in this respect. His view is supported by a former Haryana bureaucrat M.K Midha, who admits that the Millennium City has to do a lot of learning and catching up. “Gurgaon today has grown so much so fast that it needs an overarching body that can co-ordinate the functioning of various agencies. Gurgaon has a far better location and proximity to Delhi, that gives it an advantage – but we will lose it in the times to come,” he warns. The monitoring process of various agencies in Gurgaon needs a lot of overhauling, he adds.

    Clearly, the localisation of the Authority is key to not only the resolution of Greater NOIDA’s problems, but in also looking at them holistically. It is clear that while the Greater NOIDA Authority plans for the long term, and resolves the present while sitting in the City, Gurgaon’s over-dependence on Chandigarh, and the political mood of the masters, has led to lopsided planning and numerous operational problems. Nisha Singh, Ward Councillor, and an activist, recently sparred with the Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a conclave in Gurgaon over the lack of powers of MCG. She told the Chief Minister that MCG has not been able to perform because the files get stuck in Chandigarh, and Councillors do not have any powers to get the work done.

    In comparison, Sinha says that the Greater NOIDA Authority is fairly autonomous: to plan for development, carry out maintenance works, and ensure that the systems work properly. In fact, throughout Greater NOIDA it is hard to find open sewage, or garbage and trash lying in different parts of the City, or stray animals, or potholed roads like Gurgaon. While Gurgaon is facing major trouble over the toll plaza, and it is a nightmare to reach home in the evening, the drive from many parts of Delhi to NOIDA and Greater NOIDA is far smoother. Although there are traffic bottlenecks, the decision to connect Greater NOIDA with the Metro network, at a cost of around Rs. 5,000 crores, is likely to act as a major catalyst.

    Compared to the major infrastructure projects that have come up, and are coming up, in Greater NOIDA and the surrounding areas, a number of projects in Gurgaon are stuck due to various issues. The Northern Peripheral Road, which promises to connect the City with Dwarka, is stuck; the work on the Southern Peripheral Road is going on a snail’s pace; and a recent RTI has revealed that the work on the prestigious KMP Expressway is almost stalled. The DMIC Corridor projects, such as the Logistics Hub at Rewari and the Convention Centre at Manesar, are also moving at a very slow pace. Midha suggests that the major infrastructure projects in and around Gurgaon will have to be accelerated to give it an edge over its neighbour in the NCR.

    While Gurgaon may not be great on planning, a HUDA official says that the decision to develop the new sectors has been modelled on Greater NOIDA, and individual companies have been asked to develop the internal sectors’ infrastructure. The master network will be created by the government agencies. But here too the developers have outpaced the authorities;
    a large number of real estate projects have been launched and completed in Gurgaon II (new sectors), even as the provision for water, power and sanitation is yet to be created.

    It is here that the importance of an overarching Agency, which builds and monitors, comes to the fore. Rajesh Gautam, a resident of Greater Gurgaon, says that Greater NOIDA (GNIDA) officials ensure that the builders do not go haywire, and stick to a plan. “It is ensured that infrastructure is available before residents move in, else there will be chaos as is happening in Gurgaon,” he asserts.

    Sinha says that the Greater NOIDA Authority Master Plan is so comprehensive that it even includes the signage network; no one can display hoardings anywhere without approval. “Only the original allotees can display their boards,” he adds. The residents of Greater NOIDA are also happy that water supply is regular and adequate, and they need not install pumps and water purifiers to use it. Pawan Singh, a senior journalist, says that a proper planning of the requirements has been done, and recently three underground reservoirs were built to cater to the future demand.

    Although Greater NOIDA does not get 24x7 power supply, the power cables have been laid underground, and are not seen hanging – as is in the case with Gurgaon. Interestingly, the Haryana government had last year shelved the plan for underground cabling in Gurgaon II (new sectors), on cost considerations. So even Millennium II now lags behind Greater NOIDA!
    When asked about the decision-making process and planning in the Authority, Sinha says that the reduced bureaucracy has led to improved functioning.

    The decisions are taken much faster, as the CEO is the fourth level in the overall hierarchy, and is very approachable. “The daily problems are resolved at the middle level, and mostly serious and planning level issues are taken to the highest level, as there is clear delegation of powers,” says Mohan. On the issue of corruption and political interference, the officials get a little circumspect, but assert that it is much less compared to other cities and organisations.

    However, some problems do plague Greater NOIDA. Like Gurgaon, it is also finding it tough to assimilate the villages and the local population, which is almost one third of the total. Villages have been concretised, and are heavily populated, as in Gurgaon – because the housing for EWS seems to have gone for a toss in Greater NOIDA as well. A large number of industry workers seem to be living in these villages. Sinha claims the villages are being helped by the Authority, for improving infrastructure, schools and health facilities. However, on the ground the change in not much visible. The recent land acquisition issue has also brought the Authority in direct conflict with the villagers, who had refused to sell their land. It was only after the NCR Planning Board approved the Master Plan that the Supreme Court allowed development of new projects. Sinha admits that land acquisition has set the Authority five years behind schedule, as a number of plans and proposals have slowed down. But he says that the area will rebound, adding that such problems exist everywhere.

    Further, the transport system is quite inadequate, and residents say it is very difficult to travel between NOIDA and Greater NOIDA. Pranav Gupta, a student who attends a college in the Knowledge Park, which has emerged as a major education hub, says that travelling is a major hazard. “We never get buses, and if one gets them there is constant haggling over fare. The seats are uncomfortable, and buses are jam-packed,” he asserts. While in Gurgaon the traffic police is overwhelmed with too much traffic, the
    roads are emptier in Greater NOIDA. Newly developed residential sectors, educational institutions and hospitals are not adequately connected.

    The Knowledge Park at Greater NOIDA has almost 113 educational institutions, which run numerous colleges, providing education to almost 1 lakh students. Devender Singh, a resident, says that the Authority has done well to divide the area into industrial, commercial, and institutional quarters, while giving a good weightage to greenery and other facilities. “In comparison, Gurgaon is far behind, as it does not have a well-defined land usage,” he says.

    Sarika Bhatt, an urban planner, agrees to this, and complains that in Gurgaon wherever there is land, real estate developers are allowed to build on it, irrespective of its effect on the immediate neighbourbood. Right in the middle of commercial areas you will find apartments, and office cabs can be seen zipping in residential colonies, as a major software park comes up suddenly, she says. The rampant changes in the Gurgaon Master Plan, which has seen three notifications in the past couple of years, is also cited as an example as how planning should not be done.

    Urban experts aver that with Greater NOIDA coming up with a knowledge hub, it will put a question mark over the proposed education city being developed in Sonipat. In addition, the various proposed hubs along the KMP will also be affected, as the road itself is yet in progress.

    Bhatt says that Gurgaon was built first and planned later – akin to a process called retrofitting. Experts agree and say that recent projects like Rapid Metro, conversion of a sector road into a Freeway, the building of master sewerage pipe lines, upgradation of power infrastructure, and new water storage structures—all coming up after the City is bursting at its seams—are part of this retrofitting. Statistics show that while property prices in Gurgaon are still rising, new jobs are not coming. Many would be surprised to know that NOIDA has a job growth rate of almost 14 per cent.

    The industrial unrest in major industries in Gurgaon has also added to the problems, as some of multi-nationals are preferring to go to other states – and NOIDA is also an option.

    The onset of expensive realty, even higher rate of rentals, and high cost of living has turned Gurgaon into a very costly city. In a recent interview, Xerox MD Rajat Jain, astonished at the high cost of living here, said that this City is even more expensive than Mumbai. Jobs particularly related to BPOs are also moving out to low cost destinations, because of these reasons, said Bhupinder Singh, CEO of Serco. The departure of some companies has even helped NOIDA and Greater NOIDA, as infrastructure is a lot better there, the cost of office space still less, rentals comparatively low, while the daily needs prices are almost at par.

    Gurgaon scores over Greater NOIDA in lifestyle. It has a score of malls, fine dining restaurants, pubs, clubs and golf courses that cater to a population looking for an international lifestyle. The City also has a per capita income which is almost 40 per cent more than NOIDA, and industry watchers say that it will take a lot of effort to attract the entrenched multinationals to NOIDA. Real estate veterans in Gurgaon further say that success of a city depends on three things – location, location, and location. The Millennium City is fortunately located near the international airport.

    It seems that while Gurgaon is happy to rest on its laurels, Greater NOIDA is planning well ahead. In terms of connectivity, the Taj Expressway, a solid rail network system (including the Metro), and the Faridabad-NOIDA-Ghaziabad Expressway will open up the area very well. This is apart from the great City infrastructure. The competition is on, and it remains to be seen whether the empowered bureaucrats who plan to the T, will win the race – or will the might of the private developers prevail.