The Factor that Puts Dholera above Amravati in the Smart City Race

Amravati is rapidly expanding southwards and is known for more than 265 educational institutes established within the region. It has recently been selected as one amongst the 98 smart cities that shall be developed in India. The British High Commissioner, Kumar Iyer has recently announced his country’s intention to assist Amravati in all possible manner for its development as a smart city.

Another smart city which has already seen light of the day is Dholera Special Investment Region. A remote town in Gujarat has suddenly come to limelight as the Modi government has declared it as the first smart city to be developed in India. With agriculture as its main occupation, the residents do not have access to higher incomes and the same is also evident from the negligible infrastructure in the town and lack of basic amenities. However, the fate has turned around now and the new Dholera SIR in the making is considered to be far smarter than Amravati.

The first thrust for Dholera is the area covered by the region against that covered by Amravati. Dholera SIR shall be developed on 920 square kilometers of area which is more than three times of that covered by Amravati (270 square kilometers). Dholera is visualized to be double the size of Mumbai and six times bigger than Shanghai. This certainly gives the first smart city a head start!

Secondly, Dholera is ahead in development phase and development of trunk infrastructure components have started on the land. However, Amravati is yet to be conceptualized and development shall begin thereafter as per government approvals.

Thirdly, Dholera has been sanctioned Rs, 3,000 crore (appx) for development while Amravati shall receive merely Rs. 96 crore per year for five subsequent years from the central government. The Dholera funds shall act as a catalyst and attract further investments from global investors taking the pace of development to another level.

Fourthly, Dholera is currently underdeveloped due to which the property is undervalued. This is a great opportunity for investors who can buy land/units at lower cost and earn exponential returns within a short span of time. Cost of property in Amravati is comparatively much higher thus reducing the rate of returns for those investing there.

Other factors like excellent connectivity of Dholera to local and global cities through 6 lane expressway, metro , road and international airport makes is a preferred investment destination. Additionally, it being a special node on the DMIC corridor is an added advantage that has started attracting various conglomerates to set up their manufacturing unit in Dholera. Due to absence of infrastructure and amenities in the city, Dholera also gives the architects and designers the privilege to build state of art infrastructure taking into account smart city concept at their free will.

Dholera indeed is the first choice of Indians, be it for residing or investing.

My Name is Soniya singh, working with SmartHomes Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, which provides Residential Plots in Dholera SIR near Dholera International Airport.

Canals of Amsterdam
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Image by Jorge Lascar
Amsterdam was founded around 1250 with the building of the Dam that gave it its name. ‘Aeme Stelle Redamme’ is Medieval Dutch for: ‘Dam in a Watery Area’.

The Dam is still here and still functions as the heart of the city. But today this former barrier between the River Amstel and the “Southern Sea” is one of the few places in the center of town that you can’t visit by boat .

During the Middle Ages the first canals were dug for water management and defense. As the city expanded in the Middle Ages, successive defense moats ended up inside the walls and lost their function. But they acquired an important new one: local transport of merchandise. The warehouses along the old moats could store enormous quantities of trading goods that could be`pipelined through those moat-canals to a harbor full of ships that sailed all over the world that was known in those days.

In what is now called Amsterdam’s Golden Age, the 17th century,the trade volume exploded. In one very ambitious expansion project that took 50 years, the 3 main canals of the city were dug and the houses around them were built. Completed around 1660, it made the city grow to 4 times its size and gave it the most intricate and efficient system of navigable waterways in the world. A maze of connecting canals brought merchandise from all over the world to the doorstep of every canal side merchant.

Amsterdam grew into one of the biggest cities of Northern Europe becoming also the world’s most important financial center. Within 50 years, between 1585 – 1635, the city expanded far beyond the medieval defense walls. The circular rings of the canals were added. Hundreds of newly built townhouses of merchants were at the same time their businesses. In fact, often the warehouse has been located on the upper floors or at the back of the townhouse.

The scale of the commercial and shipping activity has been enormous. Only in one direction of the Mediterranean, each year more than 400 ships were leaving the port of Amsterdam. Powerful Far East Company was trading as far as Africa, India, China, Japan and Indonesia. Large part of today’s Brazil has been conquered. The main merchandise was grain, brought here from the Baltic Sea as well as spices, silks, cotton and china brought from the Far East. Amsterdam of that time was the city of tolerance. Here the printing of books in many languages took place, best maps were drawn, people like Descartes, who because of their ideas or religion were in danger in their own country, took refuge.

A fleet of thousands of small barges carried the goods from the big ships in the harbor to every corner of the city. More than a thousand warehouses on the canal-sides were supplied by these man-powered barges. On top of that, 9 specialized floating markets catered to the daily needs of 17th century Amsterdammers.
In those days, more goods were moved on barges in the canals by human power, than would even be possible today with trucks along the canal sides.

The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay. Known as the Grachtengordel, three of the canals were mostly for residential development: the Herengracht (Gentlemen’s or more accurately Patricians’ Canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor’s Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal).

The fourth and outermost canal, the Singelgracht (not to be confused with the older Singel), served the purposes of defense and water management. The defenses took the form of a moat and earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry superstructures. Furthermore, the plan envisaged: (1) Interconnecting canals along radii; (2) the creation of a set of parallel canals in the Jordaan quarter, primarily for transport purposes; (3) conversion of the Singel from a defense structure to a residential and commercial area; (4) the construction of more than one hundred bridges.[citation needed]

Construction started in 1613 and proceeded from west to east, across the breadth of the lay–out, like a gigantic windshield wiper as the historian Geert Mak calls it — and not from the centre outwards, as a popular myth has it. The canal construction in the southern sector was completed by 1656. Subsequently, the construction of residential buildings proceeded slowly. The eastern part of the concentric canal plan, covering the area between the Amstel river and the IJ bay, has never been implemented. In the following centuries, the land was used for parks, senior citizens’ homes, theaters, other public facilities, and waterways without much planning.

The Lost Canals – Over the years, several canals have been filled in, becoming streets or squares, such as the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and the Spui.
The 20th century needed space for cars and other land traffic. Many canals were filled in to make streets and parking spaces. Not without struggle: fierce protest had rescued the famous Seven Bridges of the Reguliersgracht already in 1901.
But in 1955, a local police commissioner still submitted a serious proposal to the City Council to solve all traffic problems by filling up all the canals to make highways. He was almost tarred and feathered for it. Amsterdammers are fond of their Canals.
Amsterdam Canals Today – Almost half of the original water in Amsterdam was lost to landfills, but a full 25 percent of the city’s surface still consists of navigable waterways. With 65 miles of ancient canals, Amsterdam is still the most watery city in the world. Today, the only cargo vessel on the Amsterdam canals is a unique package boat of Courier service DHL, but that will change in the near future.
In 2008, Mokum Mariteam ‘s first electrically powered cargo sloops will deliver their goods in and around the city. A serious and very timely project to help fight air pollution and alleviate traffic congestion on the streets.

Pleasure Boating – In the summertime, the canals can still be dense with sailing traffic. Strictly pleasure-cruising, privately and commercially.
15000 pleasure boats are registered in Amsterdam and the city is a favorite destination for private yachts from Germany and France. Eight local marina’s serve their needs and two big new ones are under construction. A few times a year, at big events like the Queen’s Day and the Gay Parade, traffic jams on the canals can get quite serious. Rest assured that on an average day, canal-tour boats dominate the scene on the usually quiet waterways.

Canal Cruises – An Amsterdam Canal Cruise is the most popular tourist attraction in the country according to a Dutch Government survey. A diverse fleet of around 200 tour boats reportedly carry more than 3 million passengers a year, offering a waterborne variety of almost every form of entertainment that’s available in Amsterdam. From an intimate exclusive candlelight dinner with five star service on an antique ‘Saloonboat’ to Theatre Cruises and Disco Dances with Deejays and live music on party-boats. There is even a "smokers" cruse..but you are not supposed to know that ..oops!

Boat Rentals – If you want to explore the canals on your own, there are two options. One is to work for your mileage on a pedal-boat. Canal Company ( has 200 of them available at 5 locations. Or you can experience the silent leisure of an electrically powered sloop.

Canal-side Terraces – Because of strict (we consider them misguided) municipal regulations, there are not many canal-side terraces in Amsterdam. The existing ones are popular for a good reason. It’s fun to watch what happens on the water in the Summertime.

Houseboats – In the old days, when the canals were still used for transport of merchandise, living on a houseboat was a sign of poverty in Amsterdam.
But as their transport function dwindled in the last century, the old ‘industrial’ canals became upmarket residential area’s. Old warehouses on the canal sides were converted to Deluxe apartment complexes. The barges that supplied them began a new life as comfortable houseboats with ample living spaces in their former cargo holds. They are all quite old. The oldest one was built in 1840 as a water boat for fresh drinking water (Prinsengracht/Amstelveld). Many have been afloat for more than a century. Relative newcomers are the house-arks, floating bungalows that are usually built on a hollow concrete platform. These meet with increasing disapproval from local residents and Civil Authorities, who would like to see them move to canals with less historical importance in the suburbs.

Most of the houseboats are private residences. Because of strict regulations, only a few have lodging space for rent legally. Because the demand is high, the city may ease up the rules in the future.

Clean Water …now …finally! – Water management is still the most important function of our canals. Without them, the city would drown. Circulating the water is also vital for sanitary reasons. In the days when windmills had to do the job, the stench of the water could become unbearable in periods with little wind or rain. One canal was even filled in for its stench by Royal Decree, from the only King who ever lived in Amsterdam.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Louis was King of Holland between 1806 and 1811. He had City Hall on Dam Square rebuilt to be his palace. The stench of the canal behind the palace kept his wife Constance from her sleep, so he ordered it to be filled in to make a "smart and respectable Avenue" The name of that street is still ‘Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal’, which translates into: "Front defense moat on the new side".

Today, the water in the canals is cleaner than it has ever been in their history. Three times a week, 14 of the 16 existing water locks around the city close up, so clean water can be pumped in from the big lake IJsselmeer. The current that creates pushes the dirty canal water out through the open locks on the other side of the city. Specialized cleaning boats with big scoops and nets patrol frequently to clean surface dirt. Since 2005, all the houseboats in the city are connected to the sewer system.
The cleaner water has attracted life. About 20 different species of fish and crabs live a healthy life below the surface. That bounty attracts water birds like Herrons, ducks, coots, gulls and recently even cormorants. []

Plots in Dholera an Ideal Investment Options

The plots in Dholera SIR are being featured as the best investment options across the country in the real estate markets. Credit goes to undervalued prices, high availability and the returns that are being anticipated in mid-long term period.
Dholera SIR was once a hideous little town in the mighty state of Gujarat known by very few, However the fate has turned around as the central government decided to make it as a smart city; the first smart city of India. The biggest and only Greenfield project in the country, Dholera SIR shall span a massive 920 square kilometers. The city shall encompass 22 villages and shall consist of six town planning schemes, all of which has been approved by the central government.
A plethora of real estate investment options are available in the city with various reputed builders and developers working towards making it a residential paradise. One such realty firm that is offering plots in Dholera and apartments of varied sizes in the city is Smart Homes Infrastructure Ltd. Smart Homes, a visionary Real estate and Infrastructural company based in New Delhi, plans to develop 1 million homes in India in line with Central government’s vision. Smart Homes plans to develop these homes in 100 Smart Cities and 500 AMRUT cities of India in a phased manner by 2050.
The organization has developed two residential housing projects in Dholera that has many options to choose from. Besides purchasing bungalows, villas, apartments and plots in Dholera, Smart Homes also offers commercial, agricultural and industrial land in the city. There are many other developers such as Aamani Group, Varada developers, Shyam Group,etc. through whom investors may purchase lien free land and homes in Dholera.
Let us understand what makes plots in Dholera a lucrative option for investors:-
* The plots are available in various sizes across Dholera. One may opt for a strategic location that shall reap higher returns in future.
* Buying a plot gives one the flexibility to construct a property at his free will and as per his preference. One need not be dependent upon the developer to design the property using state of art technique. Additionally, the home may be built in parts and parcels depending upon the financial availability of the investor.
* Plots in Dholera are the cheapest investment option available to any Indian or foreign investor. A property in Dholera shall cost one the lowest amongst the 100 smart cities and bears the maximum potential for generating higher returns. The dual factor makes it an interesting and irresistible investment option.
Dholera is going to be the fastest developing city of India and one that shall be brimming with economic and employment opportunities moving forward. Therefore, any investment made in the city including buying plots in Dholera should be strongly considered by investors to obtain maximum returns.

My Name is Sonia Gupta, working with SmartHomes Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. Book property in Dholera Smart City near Dholera International Airport. Buy now residential plots in Dholera SIR Gujarat at affordable price.
For More Information– Please visit Our Website Or Contact Us.

Hard Rock Cafe Guitar
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Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer
Hard Rock Cafe Darling Harbour Media And Celebs Event; Sydney, Australia by Eva Rinaldi

The world famous Hard Rock Cafe has returned to ‘Sin City’ Sydney with a vengeance, based on tonight’s launch event at the brand new Darling Harbour venue.

Hard Rock put on quite a show and rolled out the celebrities and live music including: Hamish Dodds, Matt Sorum, Dave Rich, DJ Lethal, Stan Walker, Angry Anderson, L Huntly, Sarah McLoed, Hamish Rosser, Altiyan Childs, Kris Peterson and Stim McLean. Most of them had turns smashing guitars, which is a trademark of opening new Hard Rock Cafes.

We all know that the cost of living and setting up a business in Sydney is considerable, but Hard Rock is certain their latest Australian venture will be a smashing (as in guitar) success. Sydney is one of the busiest markets anywhere globally for the Hard Rock Cafe, says the global chief of the music-themed burgers and ribs franchise.

Hamish Dodds, prez and chief exec of Hard Rock International, advised staffing costs down under in Australia make Hard Rock’s Sydney operations expensive compared with other global locations, and they are comparing to its other 172 venues which include cafes, hotels and even land based casinos. Yes, casinos, but Australia’s The Star and Crown Casino need not worry, as they have no plans for gaming in Australia – at least not any they are talking about.

Hard Rock International is owned by the well known and respected Seminole American Indian tribe, which purchased the global Hard Rock brand in 2007 after successfully running two Hard Rock hotel and casino operations in Florida in the U.S.

"For us this is an English-speaking country and people understand the history of rock," Mr Dodds said in Sydney on Tuesday ahead of the grand opening of the 500-seat venue in the Darling Harbour entertainment hotbed.

"Part of the downside of this market is it’s a mature economy – staffing costs in this market are very different to what we would experience in India.

"I would say the price mark-up here is about 50 per cent higher than the US – this is probably one of the most expensive markets we have in our portfolio."

Mr Dodds advised the Sydney Hard Rock Cafe was priced at a similar level to comparable restaurants in the area and he expected business to be brisk, averaging between 300 to 700 main meals a day.

Sydney would be among the top ten performers in the global network, he said, and among the top five of franchised outlets.

Tonight signified a return to Sydney for the Hard Rock franchise, which closed its previous venue in East Sydney in 2007.

Mr Dodds said Hard Rock had returned to Sydney with a revised and smarter strategy.

He said the former business was in a great location for the 1980s when the brand was fresh and people would go to the Hard Rock Cafe.

"Copycats harmed Hard Rock’s own business and the market changed to the point where we found ourselves in a B minus location and to a degree we lost a bit of relevance", Mr Dodds said.

The firm bought back its Sydney franchise in 2007 and has been revived by director and franchise holder Lennie Huntly, former GM of the Sydney business during the 90s.

Mr Huntly, who also holds the franchise for the Hard Rock Cafe in Surfers Paradise, said he had been thinking about re-opening a Sydney Hard Rock Cafe since the last one closed.

The waterfront location and views over Darling Harbour are a huge plus and soon a live music stage and 600-person music area will be rocking and rolling.

"We are focused on not only being about lunch and dinner," he said.

Mr Huntly also has the rights to open venues in Melbourne, Cairns and Perth. Melbourne’s former venue closed in 2007, but that doesn’t mean it will return with a hit.

Well done to the good folks at Hard Rock Cafe and we look forward to meeting up with the great guys and girls there again soon. Rock on.


Hard Rock Cafe International

Darling Harbour official website

Guns and Roses

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Music News Australia

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Tenders for Design-Build Packages for Four Smart Cities to be Rolled Out

Tenders for three smart cities have already been rolled out by finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi. These tenders are for design, construction, roads, landscaping and district administration buildings after which the cities can be formally launched for construction and developmental activities.
Shendra Bidkin near Aurangabad, Maharashtra is the third city after Dholera SIR in Gujarat and The Integrated Industrial Township Vikram Udyogpuri in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh for which government had approved rolling out the tender. The smart cities for which the tendering process shall now be started include Integrated Industrial Township in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and Global City in Gurgaon, Haryana.

As per an official, the government shall invite engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tenders worth Rs. 300 crore for Integrated Industrial Township Vikram Udyogpuri in Ujjain and worth Rs. 450 crore for Integrated Industrial Township in Greater Noida. Speaking about the smart cities, the official stated that “These cities hold a huge potential of having upsides as a result of initial investments into trunk infrastructure, which will again be ploughed back to fund other trunk infrastructure projects under the corridor development plan.”

Development work has begun in the smart cities of Shendra Bidkin and Dholera Special Investment Region(the first smart city of India). Trunk infrastructure project has taken off that shall include roads and utilities, sewage treatment and collection, water treatment, as well as potable and industrial water supply among others. This is expected to lure investors both nationally and from abroad to invest huge amounts into these projects. Majority of the funding requirements for the smart city plan is expected to be met through Public Private Partnership.

Rs. 3,000 Crore has been granted by central government towards development of trunk infrastructure for Dholera SIR while the state government has contributed its share by arranging for 22 square kilometer land also known as activation area on which trunk infrastructure is being developed. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has also been formed in 50:50 partnerships between central and state government which shall collectively make them responsible for development of smart cities.

The cities shall be well connected through various mode of transport with the major cities of India making it possible for industrial and manufacturing units to easily set up their business in this region. For example, Dholera SIR is connected through sea, road, rail, metro and air to the important cities of Gujarat and major cities of India. A new railway line, metro line, greenfield port , six lane expressway and international airport is being developed in the region that is a part of the development project.
A massive project is in the making that shall turn the series of events and make India a qualitative place to reside in with state of art facilities, new age technology and superlative connectivity.

My Name is Sonia Gupta, working with SmartHomes Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. SmartHomes has multiple Investment Projects for Residential, Commercial & Industrial Purpose in Dholera SIR (Dholera Special Investment Region) Gujarat. For More Information– Please visit Our Website Or Contact Us.

DTC Bus Green Non AC
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Image by Rameshng
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) operates the world’s largest fleet of CNG-powered buses. After Pune, Delhi was the second city in India to have an operational Bus rapid transit (BRT) system
Delhi has one of India’s largest bus transport systems. Buses are the most popular means of transport catering to about 60% of Delhi’s total demand. Buses are operated by the state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), which owns largest fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-fueled buses in the world, private Blueline bus operators and several chartered bus operators. It is mandatory for all private bus operators to acquire a permit from the State Transport Authority. The buses traverse various well-defined intra-city routes. Other than regular routes, buses also travel on Railway Special routes; Metro Feeder routes. Mudrika (Ring) and Bahri Mudrika (Outer Ring) routes along Ring and Outer-Ring road respectively are amongst the longest intra-city bus routes in the world.
With the introduction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the development of dedicated corridors for the service, bus service is set to improve. The DTC has started introducing air-conditioned buses and brand new low-floor buses (with floor height of 400 mm and even higher on one third area as against 230 mm available internationally.) on city streets to replace the conventional buses. A revamp plan is underway to improve bus-shelters in the city and to integrate GPS systems in DTC buses and bus stops so as to provide reliable information about bus arrivals.
n 2007, after public uproar concerning the large number of accidents caused by privately-owned Blueline buses, the Delhi government, under pressure from the Delhi High Court decided that all Blueline Buses shall be phased out and be eventually replaced by low floor buses of the state-owned DTC
The Delhi Government has decided to expedite this process and will procure 6,600 low floor buses for the DTC by commonwealth games next year
By 2010, Delhi will have over 8000 buses, of which Delhi Transport Corporation will provide 6000 while 2000 would be blueline buses, 3125 will be low-floor ,1100 semi low floor and 1000 of them would be air-conditioned. Few buses would have GPS to prevent them from straying to other routes. The city already has 655 low-floor AC and non-AC buses. The bus routes are also being increased to 670 from the current 357 routes. Delhi plans to add at least 2500 of these new buses by the end of 2009.
The city has been divided into 17 clusters. Bus services in each of these clusters will be run by private operators. The first cluster is to be awarded by September 2008. The first cluster has 32 routes, on which a total of 295 DTC and 270 private buses will run. The operators will be given the option of running 20 percent AC buses.
With the introduction of new buses, DTC will be recruiting 4000 drivers to run the new buses
In November 2009, DTC piloted a program to introduce the smart card where the commuters would be able to pay the fare through the smart card. They have decided to install the machines in 10000 buses

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