The city did not have much to cheer about in 2016 except a few announcements such as the Pod taxi project that is too ambitious for Gurgaon where basic infrastructure is in shambles.
This year, Gurgaon residents have high hopes that all infrastructure developments undertaken by the authorities are fulfilled and some respite is provided at least on the traffic and transportation fronts.
HT focuses on some major government plans and announcements that could improve the quality of life in the city this year.
New Development Authority
Waterlogging and massive traffic jams in July and August were largely attributed to the lack of coordination among government agencies in the city. The mess forced the government to think of an integrated authority that could bridge gaps in governance and ensure delivery of projects on time. The announcement of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) was the result.
A senior IAS officer V Umashankar was assigned the task of preparing a draft bill and overseeing the formation of the authority. The authority will prepare plans and get them executed through various government departments.
However, the announcement received mixed reactions from residents. Several residents are not convinced by the role it has been assigned. “A new development authority is welcome but its role should be clearly defined. We are not able to understand why the municipal corporation and other departments could not deliver projects that the GMDA aims to take up,” Brij Mohan of DLF Phase 4 said. Residents want the authority to focus on public transportation and improve civic facilities in the city.
Umashankar is of the view that the city has been developed haphazardly and it was not right to expect things to get right overnight. He said the authority could deliver but with time.
GMDA authorities said, after its formation, the authority would purchase 500 CNG buses and prepare a master plan for development of the city.
Rapid Metro’s Phase 2 (south extension) operations are expected to begin in February-March with the trial run underway, sources said.
The deadline for the project was extended from 2015-end to 2016-end and now to the first quarter of 2017.
The line has been under construction since April 2013. This line of the Rapid Metro will have stations at DLF Phase 1, Sushant Lok, Sector 53/54, AIT Chowk and Sector 55/56.
It will start from Sikanderpur metro station near Bristol Chowk and terminate at Golf Course Extension T-junction.
Built at a cost of ₹2,143 crore, the service is expected to provide last-mile connectivity and a gateway to New Delhi via the yellow line of the Delhi Metro through the interchange station at Sikanderpur.
Delhi Metro Extension (Gurgaon-Bawal)
A Mass Rapid Transit System is being developed to connect Gurgaon and Bawal industrial area through an elevated Metro project.
The corridor will run along the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) and Global City project. In the first phase, the Metro corridor will connect Huda City Centre Metro station to Panchgaon Chowk through SPR and Global City. In phase II, it will extend up to Bawal from Panchgaon along NH-8.
Work is expected to begin from March, and last week, the Haryana Urban Developement Authority transferred 147 acres to the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) to develop a metro depot near the Global City.
The project is part of the public-private partnership between HSIIDC and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Ltd that is launching several infrastructure projects on the stretch at a cost of ₹3,500 crore.
Projects To Ease Snarls
Several infrastructure projects aimed at easing traffic congestion are expected to start this year. Work has started on the three underpasses at Rajiv Chowk, Signature Tower crossing and Iffco Chowk on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. Trenching started at the three sites in the first week of December and the concessionaire has started barricading these sites. Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari has set a deadline of 15 months from the day the work formally starts for the completion of the project. One of the underpasses is expected to be open this year.
The Northern Peripheral Road also known as the Dwarka Expressway, which has been limbo since 2006, was designated as a national highway by the Union transport ministry in 2016. Consequently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) started the exercise to connect this road with NH-8 at Shiv Murti near Mahipalpur in New Delhi.
Also, a section of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway became operational between Manesar and Palwal in 2016. The Haryana government revised the deadline to complete the Kundli-Manesar section from August 2018 to February 2017.
Commuters are hoping that the new road projects will give them some respite from their daily traffic woes.
“We want a smooth ride to work and back. Spending more than two hours a day in traffic is not an ideal condition for a city resident. People are also expected to cooperate in this direction,” Manish Arora, a banker, said.
Real Estate Blues
Gurgaon is considered one of the largest real estate markets in the country. However, a large number of property buyers have been complaining of fraud and cheating by developers as projects are not delivered on time. Developers, on the other hand, blame adverse market conditions for the delay.
Apartment buyers are hoping that the state government will implement the Real Estate Regulatory Act 2016 (RERA) that will set up a regulatory body to oversee the real estate sector in the state. The Act is aimed at protecting homebuyers and boosting investments in the real estate industry.
“The shortage of cash following demonetisation is expected to deal another blow to the real estate sector and projects will get delayed. We expect the government to intervene so that developers can complete projects on time,” Satish Mishra, an apartment buyer who has been waiting for delivery of his flat for the last three years, said.
With a burgeoning population, the crime rate is increasing in Gurgaon. It is becoming tough for the police to keep a watch on illegal and anti-social activities with a large migrant population in urban areas. Police are trying to involve local residents through community policing and measures such as peace committees at police station level.
“Crime is a part of the society but we expect quick police response. More police presence will help in keeping a check on crime. Police should also increase the involvement of public in policing,” Sunny Oberoi of DLF Phase 1 said.
Sandeep Khirwar, commissioner of police, said, this year, people can expect police to be more responsive and aware of issues affecting residents, and solving them in time. Traffic management would also be a priority and teams would be formed to check vehicle theft incidents that have seen a spurt in recent times. Khirwar said people can look for more police presence on the roads as the headquarters has promised more force to Gurgaon police this year.
Gurgaon police will also focus on preventing and solving cyber crime that has been on the rise after demonetisation as the government is encouraging cashless transactions.