Santosh Kumar Yadav, vice chairman, Ghaziabad Development Authority talks to Vandana Ramnani about plans to develop new residential growth corridors in Koyal Enclave, Rajnagar Extension and Indirapuram
Q: After Vaishali, Vasundhara, Indirapuram and Crossings Republik, is the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) planning to introduce new residential growth corridors along NH 24 and in Raj Nagar Extension?
A: These are all saturated portions. There is a 600-acre land bank with Awaas Vikas across CISF headquarters, this is virgin land located in an area called Siddharth Vihar and is as big as Vaishali. The direction of residential growth in Ghaziabad will now change. We are now constructing a new ring road, also to be called northern peripheral road. This will start from NH24 near Dasna toll, move towards NH58, connect the Pipeline Road, Hindon Air Force station and culminate at Delhi’s Wazirabad Bridge. This is a six-lane ring road sanctioned under the PPP mode, 13 major bidders from the country are bidding for this project, including one from Mumbai and one international bidder from Oman. At least R200 crore is being spent on land acquisition. In this case land is being bought by Ghaziabad Development Authority and the construction of the road will cost at least R500 crore. This means that from then on anybody can enter Delhi and cross over this stretch in just about 25 minutes. This stretch will be on an embankment and not on the ground like NH24.
Q: Tell us about your plans for the Hindon elevated road.
A: The newly-developed areas of Ghaziabad such as Rajnagar Extension and proposals for new areas east of Ghaziabad with world-class infrastructure to compete with nearby cities has been hampered due to inaccessibility of this area with Delhi. The enormous traffic on existing highways is causing congestion in the city throughout the day, especially during peak hours. An urgent need has been felt for a new four-lane access-controlled elevated road for free flow of traffic and also for internal connectivity between eastern areas of Ghaziabad with west Ghaziabad and Delhi. This will be called the Hindon elevated road. It will start from NH24 and terminate at a Master Plan road connecting NH58 with Loni at zone 1 of the Ghaziabad Master Plan 2021 along the Hindon river. Part of this road in Rajnagar Extension area will be a surface road with controlled access. The project is a green field one and its approximate length will be 10 km. This will pass through UP Gate, Raj Nagar Extension, Hindon Canal through Vaishali and Indirapuram and Hindon Canal green verge. Pillars will be erected till Raj Nagar Extension. This will be an elevated road like the Barapullah Road in Delhi and will be built at a cost of R1000 crore. This will be of six lanes. The idea is to reach Delhi as fast as possible. There will be one exit to Vaishali and one in Indirapuram because I expect a lot of people from these areas to use this road. The growth engine of Ghaziabad will now shift to areas along these new corridors.
Q: What are the new residential growth areas that will emerge along these new infrastructure initiatives?
A: We are planning a deeper extension into Raj Nagar Extension. Besides, we also have a 100-acre land parcel just next to Delhi. There was an ongoing dispute over this land with farmers since 1991. While the Supreme Court gave its verdict against Greater Noida Authority, the judgment went in our favour in case of this land parcel. We are planning at least 14 to 15 group housing projects in this parcel. GDA will sell land here through a bidding process. Come what may the attraction will be distance from Delhi. This parcel is in Koyal Enclave area near the Wazirabad entry Gate in Delhi.
We also have a lot of land in the Raj Nagar Extension area that has not yet given to builders. GDA has about 200 acres and will bring its own group housing. We are also planning to construct a group housing project in Indirapuram spread over 10 acres. This will be an ultramodern state-of-the-art apartment project. It will be a market correction exercise and we will be selling it at competitive prices. The idea is similar to the government introducing its regulated priced sugar in the market when sugar prices hit the rood in order to correct the prices. Our intent will be similar. We plan to launch 1000 units in this plot around Diwali. The plot is located across DPS Indirpuram, behind the Devansh Pratham project.
In Raj Nagar Extension, where GDA holds over 200 acres, it will construct its own group housing and also sell some parts to private developers through a bidding process. GDA has about 1370 acres near Govindpuram and Sadarpur. Of this, about 760 acres is with GDA and it has paid compensation to farmers for the remaining 600 odd acres. The matter, however, is pending before the Supreme Court for a final hearing. GDA is working on a group housing project here called the Madhuban Bapudham scheme.
Q: What about plans to widen NH24?
A: NH24 widening has in principle been sanctioned by the government of India. It will be widened from a four-lane to a six-lane road with 10 underpasses from UP Gate to Dasna. The big underpasses will ensure that cross migration does not occur on the main road and costs are estimated to be around R160 crore.
Q: Have the zonal plans for Rajnagar Extension been prepared?
A: We are making zonal plans through satellite imagery to define sub uses such as commercial, parks, institutions etc for the area through an outsourced agency. There was a delay because some maps had been cleared earlier without zonal plans and that had led to a mismatch. We are correcting that through satellite imagery. I have seen the initial presentation of the zonal plan and I reckon it will be ready within three months.
Q: There were certain density norms set under Master Plan 2021 but infrastructure has not kept pace with the rising population in areas such as Vaishali, Indirapuram etc. What is being done about this issue?
A: A development authority only develops an area as per the current requirements of the area. It is then handed over to the municipality, the municipal corporation levies taxes, after which it is not our baby. It is up to them (municipal corporation) to keep pace with it and take care of it. They get an infrastructure fund to upgrade infrastructure.
Q: What is the update regarding the dumping ground near Crossings Republik?
A: The dumping ground case is before the Supreme Court. The court will decide its fate. We have to give land to the Nagar Nigam for the purpose. We have already given them 22 acres to develop an ultramodern solid waste plant facility in Galandh. This is an additional site. If the court decides that the one at Crossings will not be constructed, it will be subsumed in this one.
Q: Is purchasable FAR permitted in Ghaziabad?
A: Purchasable FAR is effective in Ghaziabad but you need a road with a particular width and sewerage to be able to purchase it. FAR is 2.5 in Ghaziabad but you can purchase FAR of up to four. But it is not your right. You can go up to 4 FAR only if the development authority is in a position to provide those services. For that, one needs to see if the road is wide enough to withstand the load of additional population. We also take an additional amount to develop infrastructure to sustain the additional load of the population. The maximum height of a building is governed by the setback.
Q: What is the update regarding the Metro extension from Dilshad Garden to Ghaziabad?
A: We have submitted a proposal to the government of India. The connection from Dilshad Garden to UP Gate is approximately 9.6 km. The UP government has taken its cabinet decision and sent it to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the urban development ministry. They will take up the matter with the board of DMRC. Money has also been committed for the purpose. There is no talk about the Indirapuram extension unless the Noida Sector 62 metro line in constructed.
Q: Tell us about Master Plan 2031?
A: This is still in the pipeline. We are in the process of finalising the base map. We are not yet at the proposal stage. The thrust will be on employment-generation drivers, introducing a magnet, economic drivers such as IT, wholesale, warehousing, logistics and industrial development, institutional development. I hope it will be ready in two to three months.