A quarter century back, when a young middle-level executive N.M. Borah accompanied his senior to the Trans-Yamuna, he didn't know what to make of the boondocks. When his boss informed him that the company had bought 15-odd flats in the upcoming residential area, he had volubly hoped against ever coming to live in the area.
On Wednesday evening, however, as the same N.M. Borah stood on the podium to speak at the Hindustan Times Noida First Conclave as the Chairman & Managing Director of Oil India Ltd, and a resident, he seemed to sum up not just his own growth story, but also of the area which he had dismissed 25 years ago — Noida.
In spite of growing discontent amongst the citizens of Noida over power-cuts, poor quality of drinking water
and the 'not-so-good' infrastructure, the panelists sounded hopeful about happy tidings for the city in future.
Sounding more positive, R. C. Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, India, suggested public-private partner-
ship (PPP) model to bring development.
“The Noida Authority can adopt PPP model along with principles of good corporate governance. An advisory board can be set up in the authority, but functioning should be within the framework of the UP government," he said.
Mentioning that it was efficiency, transparency and proximity to Delhi, which made Samsung India Electronics Ltd set up its plant and office in Noida, Samsung's Deputy Managaing Director Ravinder Zutshi suggested a set of ideas for Noida.
"Noida can leverage from its resources, surplus land and cash flow for building infrastructure for the future besides improving the existing ones. Noida scores much higher than Gurgaon in terms of basic amenities and green cover," he said.
Speaking of challenges that lie ahead, Deputy CEO of Noida Authority, NP Singh said: "In the industrial sector, Noida initially had 1,000 SSI units in 1976, which has gone up to 9,464 units and generated employment for 1.79 lakh people."
It may be common for people to disparage Noida for the absence of vital infrastructure, but the speakers at Wednesday's event made it clear that there were ample reasons to hope for the best. The corporate head honchos sounded positive as far industrialisation is concerned in the area, provided the authority takes care of infrastructure and power supply to industries.
Bhargava said the UP government should brand Noida as an industry destination, just as Haryana did for Gurgaon.
Borah said Noida, in spite of having a world-class infrastructure, could do better. "We as citizens have a role to play in Noida's development and progress," he added.