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Posted at: Dec 1, 2015, 12:26 AM; last updated: Nov 30, 2015, 11:53 PM (IST)

Doon Smart City to come up on tea estates

Negotiations for buying land in final stages
Doon Smart City to come up on tea estates
Pritam Singh Panwar, minister for urban development

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 30

The Doon Smart City project will come up over 1,200 acres of tea estates at Harbans wala, Arcadia Grant and Kanwali on the Shimla bypass. The government is set to buy land from the private company with which negotiations are in the final stages.

Clarifying the government’s stand on the smart city project, Uttarakhand Minister for Urban Development Pritam Singh Panwar said the government zeroed in on the land near the Shimla bypass as the smart project needed a large chunk of land that could be made available in the shortest possible time.

“As the land would be purchased and not acquired, on the basis of direct purchase option, we would be able to submit our proposal in the shortest possible time. The last date for submitting all the proposals before the Ministry of Urban Development is December 15,” said Panwar while talking to mediapersons.

He said land at other places such as Jolly Grant, Rishikesh, Vikasnagar and Raipur too were considered, but these areas did not meet up to their requirement.

“For buying the land the negotiations are in the final stages with Doon Tea Company and East Hope Town. The government proposes to take a loan of approximately Rs 220 crore from HUDCO and will buy land from the company at the rates (land price) that are mandated in the Central Government’s Land Acquisition Bill,” said Panwar.

On the other hand, Meenakshi Sundaram, nodal officer for smart city, said the city would be built by the Tongji University of China with which the Uttarakhand Government will have an equity participation. “The university will invest money in development and reap profits accrued from the project,” said Sundaram.

The smart city will be developed as an education hub and green areas comprising tea gardens would be developed as heritage sites. “Under no circumstances would workers of tea gardens be dispossessed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government intends to protect the interests of tea garden workers by providing a house and employment option. The smart city will also have a tea nursery where the workers will have the option of being re-employed. The second generation workers will have the option of getting trained at ITIs as skill upgradation for taking up other jobs. The entire package will be put before the Cabinet for approval.


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