Gurugram, south of Delhi, has become a city in its own right owing to rapid urbanisation
A 16-lane road will soon connect one of India’s most prominent residential and commercial office belts— DLF 5 and Cyber City in Gurugram—easing commuting woes for thousands of people who live and work there.
The 16-lane road, which is an upgraded version of an earlier 8-lane road, stretches from National Highway-8 and Cyber City, a large corporate park, till Golf Course Extension Road, passing through DLF 5.
What it will do is allow commuters a signal-free drive from their homes in DLF 5 all the way to Cyber City, both developments of DLF Ltd.
The 10.5-km road, developed by India’s largest developer DLF and Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is under final trials and will be opened for the public in less than two months.
Gurugram, south of Delhi, has become a city in its own right owing to rapid urbanisation, with many Fortune 500 firms setting up offices and tony skyscrapers dotting its skyline. But it is also witness to a rising number of vehicles and unabated real estate activity.
DLF 5 is home to about 30,000 residents and a slew of super luxury residential projects such as Camellias, Magnolias and Aralias, among others, and along with the earlier Phases 1-IV, is spread across almost 1,800 acres. Besides residences, it also has a 1.1 million sq. ft office complex, Horizon Centre, which is a joint venture between DLF and US-based realty firm Hines.
Nearly 2 lakh people go to work in Cyber City, easily one of the best office parks in the country, with 13.5 million sq. ft of built-up and leased space and another 2.5 million sq. ft that is being added.
“There are many gated communities and large office parks in other big cities but what sets these apart is the kind of infrastructure that has been built around it which is not very common,” said Santhosh Kumar, CEO, operations and international director at property advisory JLL India.
The main infrastructure highlights in Gurugram – the 16-lane road and extension of the Rapid Metro—have been in the works for the last few years, and the impact of their operation will be significant, Kumar added. The Rapid Metro extension, opened this month, connects Cyber City to Sector 55-56 in Gurugram, and may eventually go all the way to the airport.
Putting the new 16-lane road in perspective, Harleen Kochar, 43, a resident of Park Place, DLF 5, said once the road is fully operational with its underpasses and flyover, it will reduce her travel time to Delhi by at least 15 minutes.
According to census 2011 data, Gurugram has a population of 876,969. It is a city where the infrastructure – roads, water, electricity, sewage disposal, transport - has not kept pace with rapid urbanisation. It is also a city where private developers such as DLF had to step in to address issues which the government could not.
“This is truly India’s first smart city. Where else will you find all possible infrastructure facilities provided to support and improve the real estate development we have done, whether it is high quality office space or premium residences,” said Rajeev Talwar, chief executive, DLF.
DLF 5, for example, has its own (gas insulated) electric substation, a sewage treatment plant, a private fire station, mechanized street cleaning system and security infrastructure.
With the new transport infrastructure, it will visibly improve the quality of life. But is it enough to potentially become a smart city?
“A smart city is much more than just physical infrastructure and is determined by the quality of governance and security, water and electricity, waste management and quality of life in general,” said Neel Ratan, regional managing partner, PwC India.