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Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019

Delhi's cousin Noida turns 30

It was in April 1976 that Uttar Pradesh set up the New Ohkla Industrial Development Authority in Bulandshahr.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 03:37 IST
Kapil Datta
Kapil Datta

Staying in "trans-Yamuna" was hardly trendy. It was a suburb of dust tracks that the snobbish south Delhi would not tread on. That was until Noida became a fancy acronym -- with a DND flyway, stores of every brand worth its tag and the slow migration of an upwardly mobile middle class. Suddenly it was as tony as south Delhi, but more affordable. Not many wanted to believe it was part of Uttar Pradesh.

Just as it was in April 17, 1976, when UP set up the New Ohkla Industrial Development Authority in Bulandshahr and tried to sell it as an extension of Delhi. Adding to the misconception - then and now - is DTC's bus No. 300 connecting the Capital to the suburbia. If DTC plied, then this could be Delhi, so went the logic.

Noida, 30, has lived it up.

An 18-hole golf course came up in 1980 much before Delhiites - apart from the minuscule who had membership in the Delhi Golf Club --- knew what teeing meant. The defence personnel moved into the Jal Vayu Vihar  and multistorey apartments began to mushroom across 20,000 hectares of Noida. Village markets were out and commercial establishments were in. So much so that Delhi's smart set willingly turned mall rats in the Sector 18 market.

There is a little bit of everything in Noida. Film City was meant to be glamour in 98,000 sq m. Companies - from Adobe to Xanxa and everything in between - have parked there. Somewhere along the way, Noida became Gautam Budh Nagar but not many noticed.

In Emergency year 1976, when Sanjay Gandhi thought up an industrial suburb, land was going at Rs 120 per sq m and people were unwilling. Now it is Rs 7,500 and rising. The question is: Is there a plot available, anyone, in trans-Yamuna? Staying there has its fringe benefits.

First Published: Apr 18, 2006 03:37 IST