Chief minister Mayawati’s plan to divide Uttar Pradesh into four states has generated hopes in Noida and Greater Noida, which fall in the proposed Paschim Pradesh (western UP).
Ironically, it was here that Mayawati was seen to be involved in high-handed land acquisition.
If Paschim Pradesh comes into being, Gautam Budh Nagar, comprising the twin cities of Noida-Greater Noida and Yamuna township, will be its financial capital. With a population of about 1.7 million, the district gives an annual revenue of Rs 10,000 crore to the state and the centre.
Mayawati has, in her speeches, repeatedly referred to Noida as “very, very important”. Former UP chief secretary Yogendra Narayan said: “The Noida-Greater Noida region is a major contributor to revenue. It will benefit immensely if the move succeeds.” There are 15,000 industrial units in the two cities while annual per capita income is Rs 20,000.
“The revenue generated in Noida is used for development across the state. Once we have a separate state, the money will be used for our development,” said Vipin Malhan of Noida Entrepreneurs’ Association.
The Yamuna and Greater Noida expressways, DND Flyway and Metro have already taken care of road connectivity. The government has planned an aviation hub at Jevar and is spending Rs 10,000 crore on infrastructure development. New Metro lines, highways, elevated roads and bridges, and about 300,000 houses are being built.
But opposition parties don’t consider Mayawati’s intentions genuine. Former BJP minister Nawab Singh Nagar said, “we’re in favour of smaller states. But the UP government is not serious about it. It’s a political stunt.” Vijendra Bhati of the Samajwadi Party said, “It’s a ploy to divert attention from her record of bad governance.”
Residents too have struck discordant notes. “The move is political. We should think of the interests of a larger number of people,” said Girija Singh, resident of Sector 15.