Airport project puts development in Jewar on fast track
Jewar is now known for being the venue of Asia’s largest upcoming airport — the Noida International Airport
Jewar, once a sleepy town in Gautam Budh Nagar district that was largely neglected since Independence, is now known for being the venue of Asia’s largest upcoming airport — the Noida International Airport. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the airport in November last year, a large number of projects have been on the cards.
Two weeks back, Jewar town got its own power station. Last month, it got its first government degree college and by the end of this year, the region will have the district’s only government-run trauma and multispecialty hospital.
About 60 kilometres away from Noida city, Jewar lies on the northeast bank of the Yamuna river. It was named after sage Maharishi Jawli. Until 1997, it was part of Bulandshahr district before merging with Gautam Budh Nagar.
Meet 82-year-old Amarpal Chaudhary, who has seen the changing face of Jewar closely. “When we were children, our parents used to say that we may have been cursed in our previous birth because we were born in this ‘barren’ land. The main occupation of people here was in the dairy industry,” said the Birampur resident.
The neglected region did not have any education facility or access to other regions or districts. There were hardly any employment opportunities.
“Gradually, people started migrating from this region for better opportunities. Between 1970-90, there was an unforced mass exodus, with people moving to Haryana or nearby districts such as Khurja, Bulandshahr or Aligarh for jobs,” said 84-year-old Balvadhar Pradhan, a resident of Nalhera village.
Today, he says, Jewar is unrecognisable. “Ever since the announcement of the airport here, we have seen rapid advancements here. The price of our land has increased at least by 10 times in the last five to six years,” Pradhan added.
Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh credits the people of the region for the development of the area. “When the government approved the airport project in 2017, our main concern was land acquisition as in 2011, we had seen widespread protests and even shootings just 30 kilometres away in Bhatta-Parsaul,” he said.
However, the acquisition of 1,334 hectares of land for phase-1 of the airport went largely smoothly between February 2019 and January 2020.
With the inauguration of the 220KV power sub-station in Sector 32 of village Chakbirampur on August 29, the region is no longer dependent on Bulandshahr and Aligarh districts for its electricity supply.
“Due to the long power lines and inaccessibility to the power station, we were suffering from power cuts of over 12 hours during peak summer,” said Bhim Singh, a resident of Rabupura village. The land for the sub-station was provided by Yeida for free in Sector 32.
This month, classes began at the newly-constructed co-ed degree government college in Rabupura. The college has a total of 440 seats and offers undergraduate courses in defence studies, film production and aviation, among other regular courses
“Another government degree college for girls is under construction at a cost of ₹12 crore on the Jewar-Govindgarh road which will be inaugurated soon. The construction of a third college sanctioned by the government will soon start in Dankaur block,” said MLA Singh, adding that students now can stay in Jewar for their higher studies.
Earlier in June, the Uttar Pradesh government sanctioned a skill development centre for Jewar. The Yeida has allotted 8,700 square metres of land in Sector 31 for the same and the department of vocational training and skill development will carry out the construction, said sources.
Gautam Budh Nagar district’s first and only government-run 100-bed trauma centre and multispecialty hospital is being constructed at a cost of ₹45 crore in Ranija village of Jewar. “On June 25, the construction of the hospital started in Ranija. This hospital will not only benefit the local residents but travellers on the Yamuna Expressway as well,” said MLA Singh.
Yeida chief executive officer (CEO) Arun Vir Singh informed that the airport project has attracted a host of investments in Jewar. “Since April 2022, 112 industries have been set up here with investments of ₹7,547 crore. These are expected to generate 3,900 jobs,” he said.
“Industrial projects such as apparel park, film city, logistics park, toy city and medical device park are also set to generate employment”, CEO Singh said.
The changing face of Jewar town is also reflected by the youth here. Nalhera village resident Kuldeep Singh (24), is working as a survey engineer at the airport site. He studied engineering at a private university in Aligarh and got an offer from Zurich Airport Limited, the Swiss company that is developing the Noida airport.
“I never thought I would land a handsome job right near my home as we always thought that in order to make a career, we have to leave Jewar,” said Kuldeep, whose father is a farmer. He is earning close to ₹ 30,000 a month and has no plans to leave his beloved ‘airport’ town, which is expected to see its first flight take off in 2024.