One of the most ambitious projects of Gujarat government the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) spread across 920 sq km has been recommended for environmental clearance by the expert appraisal committee of the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), but is yet to get nod for coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance from the state government authorities itself. DSIR was notified in 2009 as a special investment region (SIR) under the Gujarat Special Investment Region Act. This was the first SIR of its kind in India which is proposed to be developed with an objective to provide for establishment, operation, regulation and management of large size investment regions and industrial areas in Gujarat and to specially enable their development as global hubs of economic activity supported by world class infrastructure, premium civic amenities, centers of excellence and proactive policy framework. The SIR is the node in Gujarat for the proposed Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) between Delhi and Mumbai covering a total length of 1,483 km and passing through six states. DSIR is being developed by Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited (DMICDC) with Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) as the nodal agency. It falls within limits of the Ahmedabad district and comprises of an area of 920 sq km spread across 22 villages. In a recent meeting of the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the MoEF it was decided by the committee to recommend the proposed DSIR for environmental clearance.
The committee also laid down 69 strict conditions for the DMICDC and GIDB to follow while implementing the project. The EAC has further made it clear that each industrial unit coming up in the DSIR has to seek separate environmental clearance individually after conducting the cumulative environmental impact assessment of the entire industrial area. The committee, however, did not propose to recommend the project for CRZ clearance because it has not yet received recommendation from the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). “The matter related to CRZ issues shall be considered only when the recommendation from the State CZMA is received by the Ministry,” the committed added. Till then, the committee directed that no industrial activity should be undertaken in the CRZ area which is approximately 38 per cent of total area, except the activities which are permissible in the CRZ area under CRZ Notification 2011 after taking due clearance from the concerned authority. The land required for DSIR comprises of land partly owned by farmers, government and gauchar land. DSIR does not envisage land acquisition for the project. Land pooling and readjustment will be done under the Town Panning mechanism under Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act 1976 for DSIR development. It has been envisaged that the DSIR will include clusters of electronics, high tech and emerging technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, heavy engineering, automobile and auto ancillary industries, general manufacturing, metals and metallurgical products, agro and food processing, IT/ITES along with tourism and education sectors. The project is to be developed in three phases of 10 year each. Phase 1, 2 & 3 shall comprise of urban area of 11,505 hectares, 12,045 hectares and 10,147 hectares respectively.