A capex of an estimated ₹6,200 crore will be spent on developing infrastructure in the expanded area of GIFT City in Gujarat. However some of the “smart” infrastructure that is currently part of the urban topography of GIFT City — like District Cooling System and Underground Utility Tunnels — are unlikely to be extended to the newer areas.
The draft development plan unveiled by the Gujarat government on Friday proposes to expand GIFT City in three phases over 15 years. A large portion of the ₹6,200 crore needed for this expansion is expected to be sourced as grants and loans from central and state governments.
On Friday, the Gujarat government unveiled a draft plan to expand the limits of GIFT City by three times to 3,430 acres and opened it to public consultation for 60 days. As per this plan, Phase-1 of the GIFT City expansion is expected to cost ₹826 crore, while Phase-2 and Phase-3 will cost ₹2,765 crore and ₹2,596 crore respectively. The funds will be used for streets, water supply, sewerage, stormwater drainage, solid waste management, landscape, lake development and water channel development.
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) model has been proposed to quickly implement the development plan for future infrastructure development like roads, public transit systems, water supply, solid waste management and other developments like waterfront development and affordable housing.
However, the draft development plan does not recommend that existing smart infrastructure like the District Cooling System and Underground Utility Tunnels be extended into this new area of 2,441 acres, currently part of five villages surrounding GIFT City.
Cooling System and Utility Tunnels
GIFT City has India’s first District Cooling System, which eliminates using separate air-conditioners for office and residential spaces. However, the draft plan states,”In case of extended area, the proposed streets will have large tree cover along with green spaces within 200-400 meter radial distance, resulting in a cooler environment. Hence, DCS is not recommended for such area.”
Similarly, the Utility Tunnels — that carry water pipelines, Automated solid waste collection pipes, power cables, Fibre Optic Cables and chilled water pipelines — that make GIFT City “dig-free” are not expected to extend into the expanded areas. “Ownership of land, capital and operational expenses” has been cited as reasons.
As per the draft development plan, the expanded area of GIFT City is also likely to rely more on the door-to-door waste collection system as it exists in other municipal areas of Gujarat, rather than on the more modern Automatic Waste Collection and Segregation System, which connects all the high-rise buildings at GIFT City.
When asked why the unique smart infrastructure present in GIFT City has not been recommended for the area that will be expanded, a state government official told Business Line, “It is a draft plan which has been opened up for public consultation. If people insist on having similar infrastructure for the expanded area and are able to bear the cost, then the same can be included in the final development plan. The government will have the final say.”
However, other infrastructure facilities like electric supply, round-the-clock availability of Narmada water, water treatment infrastructure, and stormwater network, among others are expected to be similar to those existing in GIFT City.