Large tracts of lush green fields, farmers tending to crops, villagers sitting in the open on cots, cattle roaming around — the rural setting as one enters Dholera village, about 100 kilometres southwest of Ahmedabad, is quite a contrast to the glowing, high-tech new industrial city that is being built nearby as part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
Dholera, a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be the first and largest of the eight greenfield industrial cities planned under DMIC to be built. Being built up on a large swathe of undeveloped land, this “smart city”, so dubbed because of its use of technology and data, is also expected to be the home of Foxconn-Vedanta’s $20 billion semiconductor fabrication plant.
Overall, the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) spread over 920 sq km, encompassing some 22 villages. At present, a bulk of the infrastructure development is ongoing on a 22.5 sq km area of the DSIR, called the activation zone.
With both the Centre and the Gujarat government investing money, work on the ground is moving at a hectic pace and the first phase of Dholera smart city is expected to be completed by 2025-26, said a senior official of Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL), the Special Purpose Vehicle set up to implement the project.