Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), one of the most ambitious projects undertaken in the Indian infrastructure space, is being designed as a hub for the global finance services industry and attract the top talent in the country. Ramakant Jha talks about the prestigious Rs.78,000-crore project in this interview with Renu Rajaram.
What is the progress made by the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) project?
Phase-I of the project started in June 2011 after GIFT City got possession of land on which the entire project is being set up. Since then, two towers of 28 floors each, GIFT One and GIFT Two, have been constructed. The first tower was completed in a record one-and-a-half years time. Six banks have already shown interest and are planning to move in shortly.
The first tower was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on January 10, 2013. The inauguration of second tower will be soon. We believe that both the towers will be operational by year-end.
What kind of infrastructure has been planned in GIFT City?
At GIFT City, we have planned infrastructure facilities like access road, water treatment plants and sewerage treatment plants, 66kV power substation, district cooling system, automated waste collection system and utility tunnel. Work on all these facilities is at various levels of construction. Work on Samruddhi Sarovar and multilevel parking is likely to start soon.
Can you elaborate on the overall infrastructure in the project?
GIFT City is being developed on 886 acres of land out of which 673 acres is in possession. GIFT Master Plan facilitates a multi-services SEZ on 260 acres and domestic finance centre and associated social infrastructure on 413 acres. The SEZ is divided into two parts: 130 acres for non-processing area and 130 acres for processing area.
The GIFT City project’s target is to cater to 8-10 per cent of the financial services potential in India and create one million direct and indirect jobs by developing 90 million sq. ft of commercial, SEZ, residential and social facilities (international school, club, hotel and hospital) with excellent quality of life.
When do you plan to complete the project and in how many phases?
The project would be completed in 10-12 years. GIFT is planned to be implemented in three phases of around four years each. The planned infrastructure is to be implemented in three phases, overlapping each other, with reference to built-up area development in respective stages. In the first stage, it is planned to develop 32 million sq. ft built-up area.
What is the total investment and who are the investors?
The total investment in the project is around Rs.78,000 crore. The investors in the project would include infrastructure and real estate developers, and interior works agencies.
Where do you see GIFT City in 2020?
By 2020, we expect Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad to convert into international cities with development of GIFT City which would provide around 0.2 to 0.3 million jobs which in turn will generate around 0.9 million population in and around it.
GIFT City will become an important global benchmark, not only in terms of its infrastructure, scope, size and complexity, but also in terms of its potential for enabling economic growth in the region – through the relocation and centralisation of India’s financial and IT sectors and in providing turnkey location for global financial and IT firms.