If the Gurgaon model must be replicated, can its loopholes be avoided?
Highrise and dry
Colonyfiers have realised that fast-track growth will soon overcome Gurgaon. They have begun looking for greener pastures. Right now Greater Noida -- one such pasture -- is hot. Omaxe Construction Ltd is already developing an NRI City in sector 44 there, promoting it as a heaven for non-resident Indians. It is also developing Omaxe-Royal Residency, promoting it on its website thus: "The royalty spells its cast again! Don't you wanna get royal? Live life King size." Experts believe that public-private partnership can be a good model, but if the loopholes are not plugged immediately, Greater Noida will also move the Gurgaon way.
There exists a typical problem with the present model of public-private partnership in urban planning and development. "When private builders construct houses, they tend to do it faster and better than public agencies like Delhi Development Authority. But the problem starts to appear when public agencies fail to keep pace with the growth of the private sector and monitor its progress. The way this sector is growing in Gurgaon, in coming five to seven years, the city will become congested and unsustainable," says Dhar. Singh supports Dhar's argument. "Government machinery has to match the calibre of private sector. And this is a lesson to be learnt."
More importantly, the present model needs to factor in the consumer, the fulcrum of urban planning and development. The biggest lesson is for the state government to learn. It needs to understand that any city, when left open to private colonisers, will turn into a concrete jungle. The state has to be responsible; it must keep pace with the private sector, but also monitor it. Else, Gurgaons will sprout everywhere, and there is only so much dhamaal growth this country can take.
With inputs by Vikas Parashar
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