NOIDA IS SMART, WITH OR WITHOUT SMART TAG BY HRISHI KUMAR
New Okhla Industrial Development Authority or Noida, as we know, has been a benchmark in the real estate sector of NCR for over a couple of decades. Being a neighbour of the capital of our country, it always received the fruits of acceptance by people more than any other region of the NCR. On the development front as well, Noida has been a skyline of NCR with infrastructure on a continuous development and upgradation spree. For Uttar Pradesh’s list of 12 announced Smart Cities against the 13, Noida couldn’t make it in. But the kind of development that it has witnessed over the years, along with the promise of better future, it does not look that this region requires a Smart City tag. In fact, in the eyes of the corporates and public, Noida as a region scores much above several cities shortlisted in the list of 98 Smart Cities.
“As a region, Noida has witnessed industrial, commercial and infrastructural development on a massive scale and looks quite a complete city. For residents also, civic amenities are present with scope of improvement. The presence of public utilities makes it a complete habitat. Developers across NCR have always favoured Noida as a realty region over others due to its approachability from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Faridabad. This allows connectivity advantage, thereby gradually enhancing its capital value as well”, avers Mr. Sushant Mutterja, CMD, Cosmic Group.
Smartness quotient at present:
As per the parameters of declaring a Smart City, Noida might not have scored well. But does a resident actually require those facts and figures to get attracted towards a region? This brings our focus towards having a sound infrastructure in place, which serves as the true reason for a region’s attractiveness. “Over the last one decade especially, Noida has emerged as the perfect destination for residents and commuters. With already existing numerous residential and commercial spaces, it’s a ready city. Presence of metro rail, public transportation facilities, superior roadways and connectivity makes it an ideal destination for residential and official purposes”, shares Mr. Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing.
Adding more to it, Mr. VikasSahani, CMD of Property Guru states “Noida never required a Smart City tag and according to its growth graph, it might never will. The kind of residential projects that have come up over the last 5-7 years, there are ample of options made available for the customers. Projects vary from affordable segment to even ultra-luxurious segment, thus satisfying every segment’s demand. On the other hand, infrastructure and Noida’s connectivity is on a continuous development track which will boost its future prospects of getting accepted by potential end users and even investors.” Thus, with the kind of infrastructure and habitat already available in the region and still a lot in pipeline, Noida might never require to be developed into a formal Smart City, as its existing Master Plan already has plans to take it to the next level.
Reasons why it will remain Smart:
What we are observing today in Noida is just about 40 percent of what is going to come our way in the next 7-10 years. Sighting a few examples, the metro line existing in Noida has plans to get extended till Greater Noida West. Construction work on the same is already taking place at the rate of knots, with a metro line coming up along Noida expressway as well. FNG expressway will be operational soon. Widening of NH 24 has been announced and the work is being promised to be complete within 30 months. Several underpasses and flyovers are also under construction across Noida. Apart from these, a number of educational institutes, financial institutions, hospitals, universities, civic structures, commercial spaces, residential complexes, power plants, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants and other such assignments will be mushrooming across Noida in the upcoming few years. Now, do we really need a Smart City tag for Noida to address these needs of the future inhabitants of the region? “Smarter way of public and private development and promoting sustainable development is what a Smart City makes sure. With modern concepts of construction and living, coupled with this city’s clean & green campaign; we are rest assured that Noida will breathe a healthy air and promote sustainable development for the future generations. The work on the infrastructure front is also taking place at a world class level and thus, justifies being a region with Smart development”, affirms Mr. Sudeep Agrawal, MD, Shri Group.
Smart development will pave way for smarter returns. Capital appreciation and good returns on investment has been a highlight of Noida as a region. Over the last 5-7 years, the regions have appreciated by almost 40-60 percent varying with different sectors, with some sectors even reaching out till 100 percent appreciation levels. This has allowed Noida to become an investor’s paradise and an end user hub. “From 2008 till 2013, Noida lived a golden period with footfall of investors and end users being a prominent view at the project sites across most residential and commercial projects. The conversion rate was very high back then with resale value also earning profit for the investors. The period from last quarter of 2013 onwards till mid of 2015 witnessed a slack, but then onwards things are getting back on track with promise of returns getting better than before. Through this history, one can now easily imagine the extent of returns which Noida will yield in the next 5-7 years through smarter development”, explains Mr. Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India.
Carrying a tag is crucial at times as the attractiveness quotient increases in the eyes of potential parties interested for its development. Noida not able to make it to the Smart Cities list won’t be able to attract much FDI in terms of funds or manpower or ideation; but does it require any or all of it? With several global giants already having their footprints in the region and Noida sitting right in the middle of 4 smart cities of NCR namely; New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Karnal, Noida will not get bypassed so easily, rather receive benefits from all of them. “The government and authorities have kept no stones unturned if we speak about Noida’s current development and its future prospects. Not being a part of the Smart Cities list; this will never hurt Noida and its future progress as the ripple effect of Smart development around it due to four Smart Cities of NCR will allow Noida to be developed shoulder-to-shoulder with those cities. At the same time, the connectivity factor with those Smart Cities will anyways promote and serve Noida’s development in future as well”, concludes Mr. Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.