Modi unveils twin city plan for Gujarat
Gujarat may soon be heading for a label of the land of twin cities. At the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas programme in Delhi, Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced plans for setting up several twin cities on the lines of New York and New Jersey. He made it amply clear to NRI delegations that these cities would be designed on human scale and that affordable mass transportation systems, houses and congestion-free wide roads were poised to become the order of the day. While Modi announced plans for a larger metropolitan authority for Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, twin cities of Prabhas Patan-Somnath and Surendranagar-Wadhwan, the state government has identified Bharuch-Ankleshwar after Surat-Navsari to be the next set of twin cities. For Surendranagar-Wadhwan, the urban development department will make an announcement soon. The urban development department has already announced studies for Anand-Nadiad, Halol-Kalol, Morbi-Wankaner as other set of twin cities in the state. “Besides improving civic service delivery systems, the larger objective of sustainable transport, affordable houses, strategies for devising a marketing plan for the twincities, encouraging capital investments, institutional reforms, sanitation and environmental issues would be of prime concern for these twin cities,” says state urban development minister Nitin Patel. It’s not the twin cities alone but model cities — for instance the Rs 325-crore Gandhinagar solar city — have already been kicked off. Gandhinagar’s solar plan is to use non-conventional sources like a combination of wind and solar energy to make up for the four mega watt electricity that the city uses daily across major state government establishments. The 5,000-bed Narayana Hrudayalaya health city, which will come up in Monogram Mills in Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad, is in the pipeline. After the state government showed interest in developing the Dholera special investment region, the Japanese have shown interest in developing a Rs 5,000-crore eco-township project at Dahej.