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The Tale of Two Cities: NOIDA and Gurgaon

Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities is a story set in the context of transformation and change from rural economy to Industrial development in Europe. At the time, Dicken’s characters combated poverty and despair as an impoverished working class flocked to English cities in search of work. Incidentally, the tale of two cities set in India is rather different, for development of metropolitan regions next to Delhi, NOIDA and Gurgaon, was dependent on the success of the working class, which was initially based in Delhi.

This tale is a story of their respective development, which parallel simultaneously due to the intermixing of some factors in different order: government decisions, private developers, growth of commercial spaces due to Multi National Companies’ (MNC’s) operations, abundance of land and locational advantages.

NOIDA

It wouldn’t be surprising for most people to know that NOIDA is an acronym which stands for New Okhla Industrial Development Authority. An act of political foresight, it was created under the UP Industrial Development Area Act in 1976. NOIDA has now superseded the name of its location, Gautam Budh Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh in India. And with good reason. In 36 years, NOIDA has seen a number of multinational companies set their operations in India such as HCL Technologies, EXL Services, Dell, to name a few. It is quite possible that it won’t come as a surprise or a distant reality to anyone that by 2014, NOIDA will be a center of luxury living, along the lines of Las Vegas of the United States.

As per a NOIDA Authority report, over 10 international players from the hospitality industry including Renision Courtyard, Sheraton and Four Seasons have planned projects to be completed by 2014. These projects are planned along Greater Noida Expressway and in Sector 15 and Sector 16 of NOIDA.

It is noteworthy that the creation of NOIDA as a commercial hub can not be attributed to the Indian political move alone. The political move did facilitate many multi-national companies (MNCs) to set their operations here. Post this move, various real state developers, foreseeing the prospect of NOIDA’s growth, started the process of land consolidation and came up with designs for integrated townships, housing projects, Special Economic Zone(SEZ)s, malls etc. These included the Jaypee Group, Amrapali Group, Prateek Group, Gulshan Homz, JM Housing Ltd, Earth Infrastructures Ltd, Ajnara India Ltd, Assotech Ltd., to name a few. With globalization, real estate development bloomed and so blossomed the Indian economy.

Gurgaon

Gurgaon, truly became a global village from a village in the Haryana. The starting stones of Gurgaon development were put by private developers such as DLF, which capitalized on the otherwise disadvantageous barren land of Gurgaon, which was both cheap and came in abundance. Soon others followed. Being located at the outskirts of Delhi was its chief advantage. It was only after General Electronics set up its operations in Gurgaon in 1997, that many other MNCs followed. As on May 2012, with about 30 million square feet of commercial space, the ‘Millennium City’ is one of the most powerful outsourcing hub in India. Since many people worked in companies based in Gurgaon, it is not surprising that the demand for residential complexes increased. However, as the development of Gurgaon depended on private developers, it had been asymmetric. However, with the government stepping in with its master plan, the aim is overall development of Gurgaon in a planned manner. Several developers have invested in several projects. Some of these include BPTP, Vatika, DLF, Emaar MGF, to name a few.

Vandana Shiva, a notable social activist, in her article ‘Homeless in a Global Village’ talks about two kinds of homeless people – natives whose lands have been taken away from them for the sake of development and business executives of a globalized world, who travel a lot. Fortunately, the tale of Gurgaon and NOIDA has been a happy one. Considering that a lot of developers have tied up with many multinational companies to rent houses for employees of their companies on lease, Shiva’s views are contestable. Not only do luxury residential projects offer homes, but these offer lifestyle choices via state-of-the-art sports’ complexes, exclusive clubhouses, manicured gardens and much more!

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