Hooda wants Gurgaon to be linked with Delhi airport

Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday announced that a committee had been constituted under the Secretary, Urban Development, M. Ramachandran, to explore the possibility of expanding Delhi Metro rail services to satellite towns like Faridabad and Bahadurgarh in Haryana to improve their connectivity with the national Capital.

Talking to media persons after a meeting of the National Capital Region Planning Board here, Mr. Reddy said the committee would submit its report shortly.

The meeting also saw Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda pitching for Gurgaon being linked through the metro railway with Delhi airport, stating that his State was ready to bear the entire cost of the project including the portion falling in Delhi.

Mr. Reddy said this was the 25th year of the formation of the National Capital Region Planning Board and expressed satisfaction over its functioning which he said had led to a reduction in migration to Delhi. “It has made considerable progress in reducing migration to Delhi. Had it not been for this Board, the population of Delhi, which is already huge, would have been much larger,’’ he remarked.

Mr. Reddy informed that it had been agreed during the meeting to provide Rs.2,700 crore to the NCRPB for 2009-10 and 2010-11. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Ministers from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also took part in the meeting.

“We are seeking assistance from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to finance projects like improving road and rail connectivity between NCR and Delhi,’’ Mr. Reddy added. The Urban Development Minister said three new cities -- Ambala in Haryana, Kanpur in UP and Dehra Dun in Uttarakhand -- have been added as “counter-magnet cities” in the NCR to reduce the burden on Delhi, which is a magnet city. “Counter-magnet cities” are developed to provide infrastructure so that people do not only go to Delhi for livelihood,’’ he said.

Asked about the difficulties faced by commuters in travelling from NCR cities to Delhi, Ms. Dikshit said there were some and these were being sorted out.

Rajesh Ahuja adds from Chandigarh:

Mr. Reddy also directed the Delhi Development Authority to take immediate action on the issue raised by Mr. Hooda of having a zonal plan in the Delhi area, according to a Haryana Government release here.

The Chief Minister had observed that in view of increasing traffic between Delhi and Haryana, new roads must be constructed for which a provision of a zonal plan in the Delhi area was necessary. Furthermore, this zonal plan must be implemented at the earliest.

Re-affirming the Haryana Government’s commitment to NCR development as per Regional Plan-2021, the Haryana Chief Minister said the infrastructure in Central National Capital Region (CNCR) towns should be at par with Delhi, if not better. “Only then can we make these towns relatively more attractive,’’ he added.

Mr. Hooda said the construction of the 135.65-km-long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway was in an advanced stage. This would considerably reduce the through traffic causing congestion in Delhi. To promote planned development along this corridor in the NCR, the State Government had also prepared the KMP Expressway Global Corridor Plan envisaging development of a number of theme cities with world-class infrastructure. These include the Education City at Sonepat, Bio-Science City, Medi City and Cyber City at Sampla, Fashion City, Entertainment City and World Trade City at Gurgaon, Leather City near Nuh, Leisure City near Sohna and Dry Port City near Prithla in Palwal.

Drawing the attention of the Centre to Yamuna pollution, he said the water Haryana was getting from Delhi was highly polluted.

He asserted that the Delhi Government must ensure that the water discharged downstream by Delhi to Haryana should not have pollutants level higher than the level at entry to Delhi from Haryana.

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