Situated along the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway 8, the suburb of Manesar, in the Gurgaon district of Haryana, is today one of the most sought-after destinations in the country for real estate developers and investment companies. Popularly termed as New Gurgaon , this fastest growing township, which till a decade back was a silent and secluded village, has reached epic proportions of soon taking over Gurgaon as the glittering industrial city. Here is where one needs to stop and analyse can Manesar become the New Gurgaon in its broadest sense? Should Manesar follow in the footsteps of Gurgaon, which today is on its deathbed? The answer is both yes and no.
Manesar, with its strategic geographic location and excellent transport facilities, has already attracted the most popular real estate companies. As part of the National Capital Region (NCR) and its easy connectivity with both Delhi and Jaipur, Manesar is still a growing township. Along with these domestic and semi-public infrastructural enhancements, other bigger projects include Rs. 1900 crore project of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) 135 km long Expressway. In addition to this is the 3,000 acres global economic corridor project, planned by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation. Technology parks, hotels, educational institutes such as the pioneering National Brain Research Institute, large-scale and small-scale industries, offices, market places, recreational facilities, etc. are on the rise in this New Gurgaon as it is called. Lakhs of people frequent Manesar everyday owing to the different facilities of employment this emerging city has to offer.
Further, Manesar s role in Haryana is so crucial that the Gurgaon-Manesar Master Plan 2021 estimates the two cities to immensely benefit from each other s basic amenities. A projection of about 37,00,000 population by the end of 2021 has been made in Manesar, according to this plan. Thus Manesar is on its way to replicating Gurgaon in all aspects, although the process is gradual and time-consuming. And, here is where one must explore the drawbacks that Gurgaon city faced, which Manesar must not make the mistake of repeating.
Gurgaon is one of the recent examples of a civic mess. Its claustrophobic civic infrastructure, which horribly failed, is primarily due to the unstoppable growth in the city in its initial years. The unprecedented rise of industries in Gurgaon was accompanied by an equally unprecedented rise of demands for resources such as electricity, water, proper waste management system, which was not paid attention to. An impressive number of high-rise buildings that the city presented was followed by an uncontrolled expansion of population and private transport facilities. As a result, Gurgaon today is one of the worst hit cities, in relation to power shortage, water crisis, ill traffic management rules and pathetic levels of waste accumulation in the city. The water level in the city is receding every year due to such heavy demand for water in Gurgaon. As per a 2012 report of the Centre For Science and Environment (CSE), Gurgaon will drown in its own excreta by 2021, as the present waste management system in the city is not sufficient to tackle this hazard. The city is said to produce 1,200 tonnes of waste annually.
Therefore, while the metro city of Gurgaon still prides itself on the glitter of posh shopping malls, presence of the biggest industrial houses and the awe of its tall residential towers, the city was built in an extremely haphazard manner, and in a breathtaking speed. Its developmental model was faulty at the very outset, as its development rested on taking away of agricultural lands in the city, which further disrupted the ecological and economic balance in Gurgaon. Manesar, which is soon replicating Gurgaon in extent and growth, must be very careful in not making the same mistakes in following in Gurgaon s footsteps of faulty development.
In final words, Manesar s rise as New Gurgaon is a much needed step for Haryana to retain its claim of providing the best industrial and infrastructural facilities, if only it does not suffer Gurgaon s fate. The rapid decline of Gurgaon must be compensated for by Manesar if it plans its urbanisation in the correct direction.