Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wants National Capital Region (NCR) comprising Delhi and satellite towns to become a common economic and taxation zone, a move she feels will cut down the increasing flow of migrants into the city.

Ms. Dikshit, while identifying migration into Delhi as a major challenge, said she has already taken up the matter with the neighbouring states as well as prominent industry chambers including FICCI, CII and PHD Chamber of Commerce but the response so far has not been very encouraging.

“I have always been a very, very vociferous votary of the NCR region being a common economic and a common taxation zone. I have said it in every meeting of the NCR Planning Board,” she told PTI in an interview.

In its meeting last month, Ms. Dikshit had asked the Board to take appropriate steps to ease the pressure on capital’s infrastructure due to increasing migration and emphasised the need for developing counter-magnet centres.

“At the time of independence we had a population of 14 lakh. That has now increased more than 10 fold to 160 lakh .The areas remain the same. Though the satellite towns have come up, it has not been enough because the hub and the centre of all economic activities of Northern India remains in Delhi,” Ms. Dikshit said.

The NCR Planning Board, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Urban Development, was set up to prepare regional plan for the National Capital Region and to fund important infrastructure development projects.

Advocating the common economic zone, she said sincere efforts must be initiated to address the issue to provide same number of job opportunities in neighbouring cities.

“You can increase Chennai’s areas, you can increase Hyderabad’s areas, you can increase Mumbai’s areas but you cannot increase Delhi’s land. It is surrounded by states which will not give you an inch of land,” Ms. Dikshit said.

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