Ghaziabad: Potential Untapped

About the City

Ghaziabad is a fast growing city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is 19 km east of Delhi and 46 km southwest of Meerut. It is the western most district of U.P. On the north it is bound by the district of Meerut, on the south by that of Bulandshahar and Gautambudh Nagar, on the south-west by Delhi and on the east by the newly formed district of Hapur. As its boundary is adjacent to Delhi, it acts as the main entrance to Uttar Pradesh and hence is also called the Gateway of Uttar Pradesh.

Ghaziabad as a district was declared on 14th November 1976. Hindon, a tributary of the Yamuna River, originating in the Upper Shivaliks is the main river flowing through the city. The Upper Ganges Canal flows through the northern part of the city, catering to the irrigation and drinking water needs of people of Ghaziabad and Delhi. The total municipal area of the city is 210 km2.

Demography of the Town

River Hindon flows through the city dividing it into east of Hindon (Cis Hindon Area i.e. CHA) and west of Hindon (Trans Hindon Area i.e. THA). CHA constitutes 2/3rd in area and population while THA constitutes 1/3rd area and population. The urban development of the city has been achieved through master plan 1981 and master plan 2001 from a population base of 70000 (1961) to 2.72 (1981) lakh , 9.68 lakh (2001) and 17.28 lak (app)(2011) . The provisional data derived from the 2011 census shows that Ghaziabad urban agglomeration had a population of 2,358,525.

If we look at the population growth trend, it will be amazing to note that it is almost doubling every decade. The city infrastructure is insufficient to accommodate such a fast growing population due to its proximity with Delhi and Noida which has a large number of floating population coming from the adjoin areas.

City Administration and Planning

The status of Ghaziabad was upgraded from Municipal Board to Municipal Corporation, known as Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam (GNN) on 31 August 1994 following 74th constitution Amendment Act 1992 and conformity legislation by state government. This was converted to Nagar Nigam in 2000. Jal Nigam is the prime authority which deals with water supply and sewerage works in Ghaziabad.

The development of the city is guided by the Master Plan 1981 and master plan 2001 under the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam.

Business and Industries

There are manufacturers of railway wagons at Modern Industry, Sahibabad, and Indian Railways has an Electric Locomotive & EMU Car Maintenance Shed in the city. Other industries include the manufacture of diesel engines, electroplating, bicycles, picture tubes, tapestries, glassware, pottery, vegetable oil, paint and varnish, heavy chains, automobile pistons and rings, steel pharmaceuticals, and liquor. It is one of the most industrialized cities in Uttar Pradesh.

The number of small-scale industries functioning in the district is around  14,160 and have a capital investment of Rs. 270.00 crores, employing about 73,130 workers.

The number of medium/heavy industries functioning in the district is around 145 and have a capital investment of Rs. 2,930.86 crores, giving employment to about 31,200 workers.

There are a number of private hospitals and healthcare centres in Ghaziabad that provide healthcare services to the residents in nearby villages and towns such as Pilkhuwa, Hapur, and Dasna.

There are a number of malls dotting the city. Pacific and Shipra malls are amongst the largest in the National Capital Region.

Ghaziabad is one of the largest railway junctions, handling more than 100 long distance trains every day, in addition to the numerous suburban trains to Delhi.

Ghaziabad is the city that gives highest revenue in the state of Uttar Pradesh and second maximum in India.  Indirapuram and Crossings Republik are the two big sub cities of Ghaziabad.

Transportation and Connectivity

The city is well-connected by roads and railways to the adjoin towns and this has led to the unprecedented growth of the industries and residential development to cater to the needs of the floating population in Delhi and Noida. Ghaziabad has been tagged the second fastest growing city in the world due to the construction boom it has been experiencing off-late, by a City Mayors Foundation survey.

Ghaziabad can be reached by air, road and rail. The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International airport which is about 45 km away. By road, Ghaziabad is well-connected on all sides to Delhi, NOIDA, Hapur, Modinagar, Bulandshahr, Meerut, Saharanpur, Haridwar, etc. A large number of people commute to Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Gurgaon every day for work.

Bus

There are bus terminals at Mohan Nagar, Lohia Nagar,Loni, Vasundhara and close to Meerut Road from where Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses serve cities all over the state. The Anand Vihar bus terminal of DTC is located on city’s border.

Rail

Ghaziabad is a railway junction and several lines pass through the city. The main railway station is situated in the middle of the city. The city is well connected to Delhi and other neighbouring cities through Fast Moving Local Trains called EMU. Several trains connect Ghaziabad to Meerut, Aligarh, Delhi, New Delhi, Faridabad, Palwal, Mathura, Allahabad, Indore, Ujjain, Loni and others.

Delhi Metro

The Metro extends to Dilshad Garden station which is situated at the Apsara Border on the outskirts of the city. At present it serves the areas of Shalimar Garden and other neighbouring colonies. This Line will be further extended to Old Bus Stand, Ghaziabad by 2014. Now the metro has also been extended to vasihali which serves an important station for those living in vasundhara, vasihali and indirapuram.

There are two Metro stations in Ghaziabad, namely Kaushambi and Vaishali (Delhi Metro), which have been opened to public on 14 July 2011.[13] Besides, GDA and DMRC have jointly planned to extend the Blue Line Metro to Indirapuram and complete the Blue Line Circle by the year 2017.

Education and Health

There are a number of private and government Engineering, PG Degree, Law colleges and Management institutes in Ghaziabad. There are about 80-100 Medical, Dental, Pharmacy colleges, and Physiotherapy institutes which makes Ghaziabad one of the most education friendly city in India.

Some notable examples are ABES Engineering College, Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, Ideal Institute of Technology, Ajay Kumar Garg Engineering College, Shree Ganpati Institute Of Technology, Krishna Institute Of Engineering And Technology, Raj Kumar Goel Institute of Technology, H.R institute of technology, Lord Krishna College Of Engineering, Saraswati Institute of Engineering and Technology, and many more.

Schools in Ghaziabad notably include Deep Memorial Public School,Rose Bell Public School, Dehradun Public School, Delhi Public School, D.A.V Public School and Nehru World School among many others.

There are a number of private hospitals and healthcare centres in Ghaziabad that provide healthcare services to the residents in nearby villages and towns such as Pilkhuwa, Hapur, and Dasna. As on March, 2008, around 318 Sub-centre (SCs) and 46 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) (6 of them working on 24×7 basis) are functioning in the district. Besides this, there are 6 Community Health Centres (CHCs), with 3 First Referral Units (FRUs) and 3 District Hospital to provide health care services to the people of the district. The district Hospital is located in the district headquarter. Besides these, there are 164 private hospitals with more than30 bedded or private nursing homes with less than 30 beds.

Residential Development

There has been an unprecedented increase in the upcoming residential development projects in Ghaziabad. The increasing population primarily of the middle income group has led to increased unplanned development in the rural areas. The real concern arises when a large segment of the population is deprived of the basic urban amenities like mettled road, good drainage and sewerage system, educational and health infrastructure. There is a wide gap in the look and character of the planned and unplanned residential growth which Ghaziabad is witnessing.

There are planned and say posh areas like the Inderapuram and Kaushambi having all the modern urban amenites and on the other hand there are many residential areas mushrooming along the NH- 24 leading to Meerat and Hapur. The unplanned and unorganized settlement has made it very difficult to make available the urban amenities like road, drainage and sewerage networks. The narrow lanes and congested settlements has lead to the deterioration of the living condition of the people there.  This in turn has lead to the worsening of the health and educational system of these developing areas. The non-proactive attitude of the urban development and management agency namely the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam has lead to this situation. The unavailability of development controls and in case there is some form of Master Plan then their effective implementation in the area is lacking.

There unplanned areas area becoming the home of the unsocial elements and petty land mafias. For gaining the political mileage and use the areas as vote bank, local politician and ward members are taking some initiative to make roads and drains. But due to the lack of planning and development coordination between various areas, these small scale improvement schemes are bearing no good fruits. The un-covered drains and unconnected drains are becoming a source of creating unhealthy living environment where mosquitoes breed and lead to making the poor pay for health in long term.

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