GDA board approves revised plans of special development areas, influence zones along RRTS corridor in Ghaziabad

The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) on Wednesday approved the changes in the boundaries of the two special development areas (SDAs) and seven influence zones (IZs) that are proposed to be built alongside the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project corridor. The decision was taken at the GDA’s board meeting in Meerut.

Officials said the changes have been made in line with the new transit-oriented development (TOD) policy of the Uttar Pradesh government, which was rolled out in September.

“The revision made to the SDAs and IZ under the new TOD policy have been approved by the board. The SDAs will now incorporate a larger area and will have world class facilities along with mixed land use, a floor area ratio (FAR) of up to 5 as against the normal FAR of 2.5, which is generally available in the city. The RRTS has seven stations in Ghaziabad and their influence zones have been marked in a radius of up to 1.5km from each of the seven stations,” said Rajiv Ratan Sah, the authority’s town planner.

The two SDAs at Morta (Guldhar) and Duhai will have an extended area respectively of 505 hectares and 550 hectares. Before the TOD policy, the areas were respectively 200 hectares and 450 hectares.

Sah said the provision of mixed land use will not be made available in the IZs till their zonal plan is developed, which will happen once the draft Master Plan 2031 is approved by the state government.

“The changes for the SDAs and IZs will be made part of the draft Master Plan 2031. As these have been approved, we will now invite public objection for 15 days. Once these objections are received and disposed, the changes will be made part of the draft Master Plan 2031. The process for inviting objections will start from next week,” Sah added.

The 82km RRTS corridor has 25 stations of which 22 are in Uttar Pradesh, under the jurisdiction of Ghaziabad and Meerut districts. In Ghaziabad, the seven stations are at Sahibabad, Ghaziabad city, Guldhar, Duhai, Duhai depot, Modinagar (north) and Modinagar (south).

A 17km priority section of the RRTS project in Ghaziabad will be the country’s first stretch to open up for passenger operations by March 2023. A trial run of the first RRTS trains is likely to be conducted in Ghaziabad in December.

The development of SDAs and IZs will mean more planned development in Ghaziabad, which will also bring in revenue for the authority. The state government’s new policy has defined three types of TOD zones. The first one is the “corridor TOD zone” in a 500-metre radius of the mass transit alignment, while the second encompasses areas in a 1.5km radius of stations. The third is defined as a “high potential zone” that will include special areas alongside high-speed train corridors, expressways and highways.

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