Sudhir Sharma
Adding luster to the real estate sector of the hill state, eight big investors have evinced keen interest in setting up satellite townships in Shimla, Solan, Dharamsala, Mandi and Hamirpur districts of Himachal Pradesh using the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) window. The Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA), which is a nodal agency of the state, is inviting bids for setting up world class townships at an investment of Rs. 5,000cr in the identified areas. The state government has decided that the land required for setting up of satellite townships will remain in the name of the government while the investment will be made by the entrepreneurs, Urban Development and Town and Country Planning Minister, Sudhir Sharma, said.

Delving into the details of the mega projects, he added that one of the options being considered was charging upfront money for the land that would be utilized for the townships. The HIMUDA has worked out the exact modalities for the FDI in satellite townships so that the townships are well planned with all the modern facilities. One of the companies keen on the project is Noida-based 3C Universal Developers, which has a tie-up with a foreign company, Lotus Boulevard. Sandwoods Infrastructure Private Limited, New Delhi, and Shrishti Infrastructure Development Limited, Kolkata, are the two other builders that have shown interest in the project. The townships will have all the modern facilities with expansive green areas and proper provision for soil and water conservation. The government had been mulling over the idea of setting satellite townships for the past several years, but it is now that the plans have begun to take shape. Most of the big townships in these districts are getting crowded and straining the resources, which has prompted the government to set up satellite townships across state, he added.