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5 Indian construction mega-projects to watch in 2016

Indian will soon cement its place as one of the world’s biggest construction powerhouses. The Global Construction 2030 report predicts that India will become the third largest construction market, behind the USA and China, by 2021. What is powering this expansion? Rapidly growing urbanisation, a growing economy and a government dedicated to massively boosting the nation’s infrastructure.

With a market valuation in excess of $126 billion (2013 estimates), and $1 trillion infrastructure spending pledged by the government from 2012 to 2017, construction is big business in South Asia. Here are five mega-projects that embody India’s burgeoning building ambition to look out for in 2016.

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT)

The Indian government is firmly focussed on promoting India as a financial power in a number of industries. Finance is one of these. To grow India’s financial industry, with a view to becoming a regional and global hub, the GIFT mega project was conceived. 

At a planned cost of $20 billion, the city will cover a construction area of 8.5 million square metres. 200 skyscrapers, some upwards of 80 metres tall, will dot the area, rivalling other financial districts in scope. For comparison, Tokyo’s Shinjuku district covers 1.6 million square metres, whereas London’s Docklands sits on 1.1 million square metres of land. 

Ambitious? Perhaps, but the third phase of construction is set to kick off in 2016 demonstrating India’s commitment to this major project. 

World One Tower

At a sky-piercing 117 stories, and over 440 metres in height, World One in Mumbai will be the world’s tallest purely residential structure. $290 million has been invested in the skyscraper so far and the tower is expected to be completed in late 2016. 

World One is a project that demonstrates the growing demand for luxury residences in India. Globe-trotting mega-rich are the target clientele. The complex will feature swimming pools, gyms, a health club and even a cricket pitch complete with pavilion.

World famous fashion icon Giorgio Armani was hired to design the interiors, which promise “generously sized reception rooms, luxurious bedroom suites and beautifully appointed bathrooms.” To give you a taste of WorldOne’s target market, unit prices start at $2.1 million.

Navi Mumbai International Aiport (NMIA)

NMIA is one of the biggest greenfield airport projects in the world. The airport is expected to handle 10 million passengers annually in its first year of operation, currently slated as 2019, with a total capacity of 60 million per year by 2030.

"Pre-development works for the NMIA will begin soon. Things are progressing as per our expectations and work orders for them will be issued by mid-February," said V Radha, joint managing director of City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), the organisation behind development, in January 2016. 

These works include diverting the nearby Ulwe River, flattening hills, levelling ground and clearing green patches. NAMI will cover 11.6 square kilometres once built, with two parallel runways and a terminal building situated in between them. 2007 saw the beginning of the NAMI scheme, but it appears that 2016 will be the year that spade is finally put to soil and construction begins in earnest.

Lokhandwala Minerva

Another super-structure set to become a huge presence in the Mumbai skyline will be the Lokhandwala Minerva.  Built on former slum land, acquired using various schemes including providing free land and rehabilitation for those moved, the complex stretches over 82 storeys to reach over 300 metres in height. 

Lokhandwala Minerva is already situated in an area known for its luxury developments, and is located close to the Mahalakshmi racecourse. Luxury is certainly the watchword for this tower. Similar to World One, Lokhandwala Minerva also boasts designer interiors, fully equipped gyms and even a golf simulator. 

Construction is expected to finish in 2016, with occupants who have purchased their apartments set to move in by December. 

Delhi-Mumbai Trade Corridor (DMIC)

The Delhi-Mumbai Trade Corridor is a superb demonstration of India’s ambitious infrastructure goals. A project epic in scope, the DMIC is a 1,483 km railway track worked into nine “Mega Industrial Zones”. The main aim of the $90 billion scheme is to create a quick, reliable trade route linking the north of India to the south. Currently, it takes 14 days to transfer cargo along this route according to Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Amitabh Kant.  With the DMIC’s completion, it will take just 14 hours.

Airports, roads, ports and a power plant are also being built under the auspices of the DMIC. The project’s funding is being split between the Indian government and foreign investment – much of which is from Japan. In February 2016, the government announced it was going to invite the project’s first anchor investors to set up business along the corridor in August of the same year.

In the long term, the DMIC’s chief goals are to:
•    Double employment potential
•    Triple industrial output
•    Quadruple exports

These targets are aiming to be achieved in the five years after the DHIC’s completion in 2017.

This is just a small sample of the many huge projects India is currently tackling. However, each represents both the enormous ambition of the Indian people plus the vast construction opportunities the country holds.


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