As a new democratic nation, we have had the privilege of creating new cities and townships after partition and when Sardar Vallabhai Patel was carving out the map of modern India as we know it. The four metropolitan cities were designated and developed accordingly and Tier II cities sprung up as a midpoint between rural and urban India. Many of these cities have developed to their potential often exceeding them in terms of niche industries like the great steel townships of Jamshedpur, Burnpur, Durgapur and Modinagar which led to newer age initiatives in Bokaro, Bhilai and Rourkela.
Other industries like petroleum, steel, cement, Information Technology, auto, etc are instigating the creation of not merely extensions, IT parks and SEZs but also whole cities. Case studies of Noida, Gurgaon, Navi Mumbai and NewTown come to mind while the ports at Paradip, Kandla, Mundra, Pipavav also reflect this trend. While the government realizes the need for such initiatives, the private sector must be roped in to enable India to react with the speed and efficiency that is mandatory for projects of such magnitude to succeed in today’s fast paced world.
India in keeping with global trends, allowed it’s cities to grow slowly and steadily. However the existing urban aspirations of our rural youth and the growing hunger of entrepreneurism has made the Government wake up and in the past five years the Central government has made a provision for a whopping Rs 1 lakh crore to bolster infrastructure in 63 major cities in India under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. SEZs and greenfield city projects are being pushed ahead. In the private sector we have HCC’s Lavasa, India’s first post-Independence hill station near Pune. The Centre is not about to be outdone and it’s plan to build six brand-new cities in the next five years may be the catalyst India desperately needs for more such initiatives.