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First phase of GIFT City to be completed by 2014

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Work on one of the most ambitious projects of the state government, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is finally expediting with the first phase set to come up by 2014. With a built up area of 10 million sq ft, first phase of the financial services hub in Gujarat will be completed in next three years, said Sudhir Mankad, chairman of GIFT Company Limited.

"Our vision is to have international finance services centre and it would be first of its kind in Gujarat as well as India. In fact, our target is to have at least two towers ready by 2012. A modern city that is not disconnected with the past. It will reflect cultural ethos of Gujarat. It will the business community of Gujarat to do business on global level through GIFT platform. Work on one of the towers have already begun by L&T. In all, the first phase will be completed by 2014 at a project cost of Rs 4,500 crore," said Mankad.

The first phase of the project will comprise 12 towers spread across 10 million sq ft of built up area. Of these, half a million of space is being developed by L&T alone, according Mankad. On completion, the financial services hub will span a total area of 68 million sq ft at around Rs 60,000 crore of project cost at current prices.

However, Mankad ruled out completion of the much touted 400 metres tall in the first phase. "The Diamond Tower will come up only in the second or third phase," said Mankad.

On its part, the GIFT Company will develop the overall infrastructure of the project, while rest of the real estate will developed by investors. Of these, IL&FS is the first anchor investor of the project which has also started construction in a tower.

The company has also spent over Rs 200 crore for various consultancy services during the planning of the project. According to Mankad, seismological and hydrological studies have also been conducted for the project. Meanwhile, talking about the delay in the project, Mankad added that the government lost a year due to recession.

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