Common Economy Zone Needed to Ease Migration Pressure: Sheila

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said that National Capital Region (NCR) comprising Delhi and satellite towns should become a common economic and taxation zone. She feels the move will slash the increasing flow of migrants into the city.

Identifying migration into Delhi as a major challenge, the chief minister said that she had already raised the matter for discussion with neighbouring states as well as prominent industry chambers including FICCI, CII and PHD Chamber of Commerce. But she said that response had not bee encouraging so far.

“I have always been a very, very vociferous votary of NCR region being a common economic and a common taxation zone. I have said it in every meeting of the NCR Planning Board,” she said in an interview.

Last month, in a board’s meeting, she had asked for appropriate actions to mitigate pressure on Delhi’s infrastructure because of rising migration and stressed the need for developing counter-magnet centres.

“At the time of independence we had 14 lakh population. Today we have 160 lakh population. The areas remain same. Though the satellite towns have come up, it has not been enough because the hub and the centre of all economic activities of Northern India remains in Delhi,” Dikshit said.

It may be mentioned that the NCR Planning Board, which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Urban Development, was established to formulate regional plan for the National Capital Region and to fund important infrastructure development projects.

Dikshit, while advocating common economic zone, said that concerted efforts must be made to address the issue to provide equal number of opportunities in neighbouring cities.

“You can increase Chennai’s areas, you can increase Hyderabad’s areas, you can increase Mumbai’s areas but you cannot increase Delhi’s land. It is surrounded by states which will not give you an inch of land,” Dikshit said.

Besides, she appealed to the Centre to build more new cities across the country to ease pressure on Delhi.

“Please build more cities as comfortable as Delhi is or as opportune as say Hyderabad is or Bangalore is, Chennai is or Delhi is. We need about 100 to 200 cities like this. So that the influx into these areas specially into Delhi (could be controlled),” Dikshit said.

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