The GIFT authority will be chaired by state urban development secretary IP Guatam, and its members include roads and buildings secretary, GIFT chairman and managing-director, Gujarat’s chief town planner and Gandhinagar district collector. Its CEO is an additional collector-level official, JK Astik. “The new GIFT authority will have the right to put up development plan for GIFT, introduce town planning schemes, monitor the type of construction activity which will take place in the area, and work out infrastructure layout,” a senior official said. He added, “It will grant building construction permissions to the proposed developers of highrise buildings, one of which, Diamond Tower, will be 400-metres tall, on the condition that necessary permissions are taken from the Airports Authority of India.”
Gujarat government has also declared the entire GIFT area as notified under section 264A of the Gujarat Municipalities Act, 1963, which empowers the GIFT authority to provide civic services in the 886 acres area. Right now, two towers are under construction, one by Larsen and Tourbo and the other by Al Nakhira Construction (ANC), Dubai, which specializes in high-rises. Each tower will cost Rs 260 crore. Under planning stage are 500 apartments for executives working in GIFT, apart from 8,000 houses for lower-income groups.
GIFT director RK Jha says, “We have tied up with nationalized banks for providing financial services from the two towers. Nearly four lakh sq feet of one of the two towers has been almost booked. Of its seven lakh sq feet area, five lakh is saleable, while the rest will have restaurants and other common facilities. The units stationed in the software technology park (STP), Gandhinagar, have shown interest in shifting immediately to GIFT area. Their facilities are being built. Besides, the exhibition complex will be built shortly.”
The new GIFT Urban Development Authority is likely to take under its wings nearly 3,000 acres area that surrounds GIFT. It will be called ‘GIFT Expansion Zone’. There will be no land acquisition in this area, where already powerful individuals have started buying up land. “Amitabh Bachchan is one of those who have bought a huge piece of land in the area,” GIFT director RK Jha said. “The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad, has been asked to create a complete residential-cum-commercial plan, which will house nearly 3 lakh people out of a total of 10 lakh we expect will work in GIFT once it is fully operational.”