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The Ultimate Guide to Dholera

Posted by Joel Mascarenhas on 25th April 2022

Estimated reading time: 17 minutes

Dholera SIR is a mega-city project in India that is aimed at providing economic growth to Gujarat. The industrial smart city of Dholera will build world class infrastructure and an international airport that would bring foreign investors looking to set up manufacturing in India.

The dream project of India’s PM Narendra Modi. The design and urban planning of Dholera city will be a benchmark for building sustainable smart cities in India. Future cities built in India would plan, design, build and operate their new cities like Dholera.

Everything You Need To Know About Dholera in Under 2 Mins

What Is Dholera?

Dholera is a planned and smart urban city in the Gujarat coast of India. It might be India’s most modern, sustainable, and livable city.  

The project was designed not only for the benefit of current residents, but also for future generations, with a focus on sustainability and a green lifestyle.

The Dholera Smart City Project’s goal is to create a smart city paradigm for Indian urbanisation.

Is Dholera a Smart City?

Yes, Dholera is India’s first Platinum Rated Smart City. The city will be will have sensors across the city that will be connected with ICT. This will help the city quickly take action for management of water, security, traffic etc.

Different components in Dholera smart city

Where Is It Located?

Dholera is located 108km South West of Ahmedabad, in Gujarat. The city spans about 920 sq.km and encompasses 22 villages.

map view of Dholera city

It will be larger than Ahmedabad and is located between Baroda, Rajkot and Bhavnagar.

What Is the Current Status?

Since 2007, the development of Dholera has been ongoing. The city’s Activation Zone, which covers 22.5 square kilometres might be completed by 2022. It is already available for the industries to set up.

Is Dholera a Good Investment?

The initiative is very likely to be a success because it is India’s first smart city with central government backing. Investors that get in early on the projects could make a lot of money.

However, we recommend that you get advice from the appropriate official investment consultants.

Dholera Master Plan

The Dholera Master Plan is an aspirational plan for a 100-kilometre-long corridor on Gujarat’s east coast with a population of 1.5 million people.

development plan projections in Dholera

The plan was conceived in 2007 by the then Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi in collaboration with Indian and international planners and architects as well as members of civil society.

It was meant to signal a new direction for urbanization, with heavy emphasis on infrastructure development and cutting edge technology to make it one of the most liveable cities in India by 2025.

The Dholera master plan follows the principles set out in India’s Smart cities mission.

The plan was conceived to prepare for the influx of new populations into the area. 

The master plan is expected to lead to greater economic growth which will provide more jobs for new people coming into the area.

The Dholera smart city is set to be the most advanced, sustainable and livable city of India with an eye on sustainability and green living.

Dholera has been conceptualized

  • To become the most liveable city in India
  • To cater to present and future generations
  • To promote sustainable development


Development plan aims at the creation of an economically and socially balanced, new age city with world class infrastructure and high quality of life. Adoption of sustainable approach across key components such as transportation, waste recycling, overall urban form and resource efficiency from the cornerstones of this plan.          

Status of Dholera

Current Infrastructure


Location of Dholera

Dholera on the DMIC

Dholera is the largest city out of the 8 new cities being built on the DMIC.

map view of largest city along the DMIC

Dholera External Connectivity

Dholera map view

Development Plan

The Draft Development Plan aims at the creation of an economically and socially balanced, new age city with world-class infrastructure and a high quality of life. Adoption of a sustainable approach across key components such as transportation, waste recycling, overall urban form and resource efficiency, form the cornerstones of this plan.

Dholera city development plan map view

Immediate Development – Activation Zone

immediate development Dholera map view

Dholera Town Planning Scheme

Dholera city town planning map view

World Class Infrastructure at Dholera

State-of-the-art, smart and sustainable infrastructure facilities set Dholera apart. Its world-class infrastructure is benchmarked against the best practices from around the world. It is unique as it is the first city in India where all underground utilities like gas, power, potable water, recycled water, sewage pipes and storm water are pre-planned for complete development, with the capability of handling the growing demands of the city.

Plug and Play

inside infrastructure of Dholera smart city

Right from the start, the vision has been to have a ‘Plug & Play’ approach wherein all the land parcels are fully ICT enabled and completely built up infrastructure is offered right at plot level. This will be an underlying enabler in all spheres of the city and will integrate multiple essential disciplines, which will in turn facilitate ease of doing business and holistic living, along with a platform for efficient operations and administration.

Safety and Security

safety and security in Dholera

Dholera’s Command and Control Centre has been designed to oversee safety & security, and will seamlessly merge city departments to enable collaboration for efficiency.

Dholera’s planning includes safe and well-controlled roads with Multi-Purpose corridors, Bicycle Tracks, Service Roads, shaded pedestrian friendly walkways for comfort and safety, constant monitoring by CCTV cameras and a dynamic intelligent Traffic Management system.

Connectivity Infrastructure

connectivity infrastructure in Dholera

Dholera also offers a multimodal transportation system, which includes MRTS/LRT/BRTS/local bus systems & para transits. A multimodal transport hub has been proposed to enable seamless transit.

Connectivity Infrastructure


map view for rail from Dholera

MRTS is planned, which will connect DSIR with Ahmedabad • Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) is 1.5 hours from DSIR. Dholera Railway Station proposed in DSIR


airport from Dholera map view

Work is underway on the Dholera International Airport, which is located only 7 km from the northern boundary of DSIR

airport location for Dholera map view

Environment Clearance from MoEF and site clearance from MoCA have been obtained for developing the Dholera International Airport

Bhavnagar Domestic Airport and Ahmedabad International Airport are 2 hours from DSIR


road from Dholera map view

Currently, a 4-lane State Highway connects Ahmedabad to Dholera SIR

A dedicated 6-lane access controlled expressway connecting Ahmedabad & Dholera is under implementation and will be completed by 2020 by NHAI under the Bharatmala project


sea ports from Dholera map view

Pipavav is the closest port to DSIR, which is approximately 200 km away

Pipavav has a range of cargo handling capabilities such as Container, Bulk, Capital Goods, Liquid, Gas, etc.

DSIR is also well-connected to the major ports of Mundra and Kandla via rail and road


sustainability in Dholera

Water and Waste Water System

recycled water in Dholera
water treatment plant in Dholera

Zero waste discharge by treating 100% of the waste water generated to tertiary standards for non-potable and industrial use. Smart metering and SCA have been implemented to minimise loss.

common effluent treatment plant in Dholera

Solid Waste Management

solid waste management in Dholera being treated

Provisions are in place for 100% collection of solid waste and recycling of biodegradable solid waste to be treated for use as compost and to generate energy.

Stormwater Management and Rainwater Harvesting

Systems are in place to capture and utilise storm water runoff and the rain water harvesting system is implemented through an open earthen canal, which will allow aquifier recharge and reuse of water for irrigation.

Power Management

24/7 uninterrupted power supply provided. Smart grid, smart metering and monitoring have been deployed to minimise any loss. A 5,000 MW solar park, one of the largest in the world will be developed in Dholera.

Social Infrastructure

Dholera’s design includes amenities to cater to the health, safety, educational, entertainment, cultural and spiritual needs of inhabitants, and they have been strategically located to provide safe and easy access.

social infrastructure in Dholera

From neighbourhood & farmers’ markets to dedicated zones for hawkers; dispensaries to emergency services with quick response time; petrol pumps to electric vehicle charging stations; taxi and auto rickshaw stands to bicycle parking; public toilets to spaces for public art and cinema halls to religious facilities; education infrastructure ranging from early childhood education to Anganwadis to integrated schools; from colleges to skill development centers; Dholera has it all.

Ease of Doing Business

ease of doing business in Dholera

A single window system is in place to streamline the G2B (Government to Business) interaction, that will greatly reduce procedures and approvals required for various aspects of business. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Ready list of permits (as per industry type)
  • Single point of contact for every business
  • Permits/Approvals granted within a pre-fixed period

Efficient Governance

A special purpose vehicle, Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL) has been created as a joint venture between the Central and State Governments to enable swift and efficient governance.

efficient governance in Dholera

Dholera will have a three-tier stakeholder decision making structure, which includes DSIRDA as the development authority, GIDB as the apex authority and an SPV (between Central and State Government) by the name of Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL) as the project development agency, while DSIRDA is responsible for town planning and development plan for the SIR.

central government showing different phases

Under the Special Investment Region Act, the State Government can designate a region as an SIR and set-up an SPV to develop the city that has the corporate structure of a private entity, which will bolster transparency and accountability.

Market Focus

Dholera is an industrial smart city that is perfect for non polluting industries that need large plot sizes to set up manufacturing in India. Some key industries include – Defence, Manufacturing, Heavy Engineering, Electronics, Auto, Solar Manufacturing, etc.

market focus areas

Opportunities in Dholera

Gujarat : Land of Infinite Opportunites

Dholera’s development, as per the Gujarat government, would be a one-of-its-kind initiative in the country and is planned to be implemented as a Smart City. It will have access to water, electricity and other urban facilities that are readily available. The project has been conceived with the objective of making it one of the most prosperous industrial zones in India.

sanctioned land use showing opportunity areas

The Smart City has been conceptualised as an iconic ‘liveable city’ with efficient physical infrastructure and social infrastructure. The authorities have initiated various plans to make Dholera livable by 2022 when it is estimated to be fully functional. Given its proximity to Ahmedabad and Delhi, it will serve as an economic hub for traders from all over India.

Dholera SIR : A Combination of Economy and Efficiency

Dholera SIR is a new city, 50% of which will be reserved for green tech. It will have modern amenities and offer opportunities for the youth of India.

ABCD building for Dholera showing economy and efficiency

Dholera is an upcoming city that is based on smart concepts and futuristic urban planning. This city is located in the state of Gujarat, in the western part of India. The site has been identified by the government as a ‘Special Investment Region’ (SIR). Dholera SIR promises to be a paradigm shift from our current understanding of cities. In Dholera SIR, 50% area will be reserved for green tech to promote optimum resource management and sustainability goals. These are some key points about Dholera SIR:

It will have modern amenities like world class schools and international

Opportunities in Dholera SIR

Dholera SIR is a mega-city project in India that is aimed at providing affordable housing to the population of Gujarat. The project will have a total of six interlinked cities, the largest ones being Dholera and Kansara.

The project was announced in 2001 but was stalled for several years due to bureaucratic hurdles. The project has restarted since 2017 and is now moving forward with high stakes for the country’s future. The total investment for Dholera SIR is estimated at $200 billion and is expected to generate employment for about 1 million people over a period of about 20 years.

Dholera : Infrastructure

Dholera, a bustling city of the future is being planned so as to ensure that it offers affordable housing and infrastructure. The project has been conceptualized to have high-speed rail links, a world-class airport among other world class amenities.

The area is well connected by NH 8, NH 17 and NH 65 with state highways serving it from all directions. Dholera will also be well connected by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) on one side and the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) on the other side. These two projects will link Dholera to major industrial hubs around Delhi NCR as well as Mumbai in Maharashtra.

What Does It Provide ? – Market Focus

Dholera is a city in the state of Gujarat, in India. It is a satellite planned city with sustainable-friendly infrastructure and an effective system of green buffer zones.

Dholera will be the second largest Special Investment Region (SIR) and one of the fastest growing mega cities in India. The region has been developed as an export hub for capital goods and services with a focus on emerging technologies and industries such as Information Technology, Defence, Automotive, Electronics Manufacturing, Maritime etc.

It is believed that Dholera will have an annual GDP contribution of $43 billion on completion with an employment potential for almost five million people.

Special Investment Region

Dholera SIR is not just a city but an integrated industrial, residential and commercial hub. Dholera smart city will have 3 lakh people living in it.

Dholera smart city is planned to be one of the first cities in India with an entire district dedicated to public health facilities and a green belt around the periphery of the city.

The Industrial, residential and commercial hub of Dholera will be connected by a 50 kilometer long corridor that will house all sorts of land uses. Thus inspiring eco-friendly mobility and reducing congestion on existing roads.

It’s expected that by 2038, more than 3 lakh residents would live here.

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