Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday (18 January), sent a proposal to the centre regarding the selection of Pithampur Sector-7 and Jabalpur textile and logistic cluster, under Greenfield Smart City project.
The state government is optimistic about the selection of at least one of the two proposed places and to get a Rs 1,000 crore grant for the project.
Approximately 50 hectares of land, mostly owned by the government, is available at both locations. The area, along with other ideal conditions, meets the necessary criteria for the development of a Greenfield Smart City.
The urban administration commissioner of Madhya Pradesh, Bharat Yadav, stated that they were willing to present the potential of the areas, in terms of investments and economic growth, to the central government.
This would offer an idea of the current development status and the proposed work needed for industrial townships, environmental protection, employment, economic growth and other aspects of the living index.
Pithampur is an industrial area situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. It is located in the Dhar district of the state and is part of the Indore Metropolitan Region. It is known for its rich industrial significance and is home to a wide variety of industries arranged through different sectors.
In 2021, the central government proposed the development of eight greenfield smart cities and allocated a funding grant of Rs 8,000 crore for the respective states.
The grant allocated for each city is limited to Rs 1,000 crore, which will be used to incubate the cities as pilot projects.
Gujarat International Finance Tech City (GIFT), planned as a central business district in Gandhinagar district, is under construction to turn into India’s first greenfield ‘smart city’.
Looking at the existing cities, Chandigarh is viewed as India’s first greenfield city. The city was planned and developed to fill in as the regulatory capital of Punjab.
In the past, satellite towns have been developed as greenfield projects in India. Many of these towns emerged on the planning and governance based on the factors of that time period.
Need For Greenfield Cities
The future shows a significant rise in population and a move towards urban areas, necessitating the development of infrastructure and adequate planning to accommodate this growth.
With the growing trend of urbanisation, presently the increased migration is being concentrated to the larger cities of the country.
Existing cities are past beyond the capability to handle the increasing population growth and economic prospects.
The major cities are facing challenges such as overcrowding, pollution, depletion of resources and problems with social and economic liveability.
To address the urban issues, existing cities are undergoing various regeneration processes with a focus on making the cities more sustainable and inclusive.
In addition to this, building greenfield cities will provide the opportunity to plan consciously for future growth, countering these challenges and manage the migration of population and resources in the coming years.
A greenfield city is built from scratch, on previously undeveloped land. The planning of such cities allows strategic choices for advanced infrastructure, good connectivity and environmentally friendly features.
It gives the ability to take into account various interrelated factors such as physical infrastructure, utilities, social amenities and ecological considerations. The integration of these factors in the early phases, will provide benefits for development of a sustainable and smart city.
Additionally, it will facilitate smoother process of land acquisition, planning, zoning, resource utilisation, efficient energy systems and management.
However, bringing up a city, imagined with set benchmarks and numerous considerations to be fulfilled — also brings in various challenges to the process. These may come in different contexts, related to financing and budgeting, timing and completion, setting socio-economic backdrops.
Existing cities have established socio-cultural characteristics, economic resources, financial systems. These factors drive the demand for ongoing improvement and renewal of existing systems and infrastructure.
Thus, the process of development for these new cities, certainly differs from the setup of existing cities.
Addressing certain emerging challenges, the development of greenfield smart cities can play a major role in realising India’s urban potential and economic growth.