Gujarat forges ahead with India’s first Special Investment Region (SIR)
Dholera in Gujarat is set to become India’s first Special Investment Region (SIR). It is projected that the next 10 years will pump in more than $10 billion into this region – that is the mother of all SEZs (Special economic Zones). This economic booster project will be laid out along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor (DMIC) with an assuring hand-holding from Japan. The work has gathered momentum towards creating the world’s first real smart city. Japanese are considered as one of the most savvy investors and they are known to choose their pecking spots with a hawk eye. So, this SIR must have piqued their business interest in order to send a delegation of 150 senior senior investors – these investors were in Ahmedabad to assess opportunities in manufacturing, banking, trading, logistics and other collaboration and investment opportunities.
Image Credit: Dholerasir.com
SIR vs SEZ
- SIR (Special Investment Region) is much bigger SEZ (Special Economic Zone)
- Unlike SEZ, SIR is not only export oriented – It is a completely habitable megalopolis
- SIR provides a much larger scope for external and internal investment
- In the case of Dholera SIR, the process of land acquisition is completely different as compared to a SEZ
- SIR will be a completely self-sufficient region and can work as an independent economic partner with other regions of the country
Image Credit: ahmedabad.olx.in
Dholera is neighbor to a long coast line and is located in the Gulf of Khambhat. Agriculture finds few takers in this region because of a predominantly arid and saline land. Dholera is located 140 Kms. from Ahmedabad. The announcement of a SIR in Dholera has seen a spurt of inquiries regarding investment in this region – which is firmly controlled by the Gujarat Government. The completed SIR will span 903 Sq. Km on both sides of DMIC. Because of its proximity to the coastline, the goods manufactured in SIR can be exported through the Gujarat ports. The other major advantage is that the imported goods coming in through the Gujarat ports can be distributed to the Northern Indian regions through a DFC (Dedicated Freight Corridor). As we write this post, the work in the Dholera SIR is going at a jet speed.
The major players
Gujarat government has done a commendable job (considering that it has the resources to do so) in contracting the work to some of the most trusted names in the Industry.
- British Infrastructure Development Halcrow: They are contracted as the master planners
- Cisco & IBM: They are contracted to develop Dholera as the Smart city – with centralized digital control of all infrastructural facilities such as water, power and gas.
According to DMIDC chief, Amitabh Kant, ” With this system in place, for instance, no one who lives in Dholera will ever get stuck traffic jam – as the system will automatically detect where traffic is being held up and it will recommend the alternative routes to travelers through SMS. There can be no theft of water and power as the system will automatically assess how much water and power you actually use.”
Surely the Way to Go for Gujarat…