On Grand Education Road

  • Maninder Dabas / FG
  • India
  • Nov 02, 2012

The last three decades have seen an unprecedented  development in the areas or the suburbs surrounding the national Capital, and now they fall under an umbrella called National Capital Region (NCR). While some of these erstwhile suburbs—like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Noida—have grown into full fledged cities, the others—like Sonepat and Bahadurgarh—have been denied the same blessings. Despite being in a strategically important place, Sonepat has constantly been ignored – both by destiny as well as the State. Maybe it is because North Delhi, which Sonepat is adjacent to, is itself a pariah, when it comes to growth and development (unlike the South Delhi-Gurgaon combination). But change is the thread that binds the process of evolution, and now this area too seems to be hitting the chords of development. “Sonepat is going to be the next big thing in the NCR, because the process of urbanisation and development needs new horizons. Sonepat is perhaps the best answer to this quest. This area not only provides fertile agricultural land in the form of the Yamuna basin, but it can also be a prelude or breeding ground for a residential, educational and industrial renaissance in the years to come,” said Pankaj Agarwal, the Deputy Commissioner, Sonepat District. If Maruti catalysed Gurgaon, Atlas Cycle Industries has bestowed Sonepat with an identity of an industrial town. Kundli and Murthal, along with Sonepat City, are the potential and established industrial hubs of the district; and Rai is the centre for sporting excellence, with the Moti Lal Nehru Sports School, along with upcoming educational and residential destinations. Rajiv Gandhi Education City, and twenty odd residential  buildings, with malls and another amenities developed by builders like Ansals and TDI,  are on the horizon.


The History

Sonepat District was carved out of Rohtak District on 22nd December, 1972. It is believed that it was founded as Swarnaprastha, by the Pandavas. It was among the five villages  demanded by the Pandavas in exchange for peace with Kauravas. Sonepat also finds a mention as one of the places visited by  Shravan Kumar, with his parents on his shoulders. Another legend ascribes it to Raja Soni, the thirteenth descendent of Arjuna. The first mention of the word Sonepat was found in great grammarian Panini’s celebrated book  ‘Ashtadhyayi’, near about 600 BC.

The River Yamuna runs along the eastern boundary of the district. 

The Development

a) Industrial development: “This is one area where we have a great chance to excel, and present ourselves in a new light. At present we have four phases in the Kundli Industrial area, with the famous industries like Hilton Rubbers and ECE Industries, along with many cold storage establishments. A land measuring 400 acres has also been acquired by the state for expansion,” said the DC.  Murthal is the new industrial hub,  patiently waiting to make an impact. “Murthal Industrial Estate is the only industrial sector developed by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in the recent years, and now it has been handed over  to HSIIDC. There are breweries, and makers of electric goods (like fuse gears), and cycle parts,” said  Devender Malik, a HUDA official. From the Singhu border to the outskirts of Murthal, this 25 odd km stretch  has everything in it – ranging from mammoth industrial establishments to  large residential areas developed by private builders, along with many educational institutions cobbled together in the form of universities. 


b) Residential development:  The moment  Kundli ends (with the under construction Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP)  Expressway), a whole new saga of residential buildings begins. Beautiful residential flats, constructed by private builders (mainly Ansals and TDI), not only provide the buyers with a ‘cheap’ home, but also give them an exotic living just a couple of miles away from the river Yamuna. “Earlier it was believed that Sonepat, and even Kundli for that matter, are remote places – because even North Delhi was distant. But now with Delhi and nearby suburbs getting costly and crowded, this area has come up as an alternative abode of luxurious living. These gated colonies, like Sushant City developed by Ansals, and TDI City, have both plotted bungalows as well as residential apartments. And the way this area is excelling in the field of education and industry, it is bound to become a key residential area in the future,” says Kuldeep Singh, a property consultant in Balgarh. Residential development has taken place inside  Sonepat City too, as 7 HUDA residential sectors are now being occupied at a greater pace. 

c) Education hub: Like Rohtak, its elder cousin, Sonepat too seems to  have taken  the path of becoming an educational hub, with many government and private universities already operational. “Sonepat is going to be the education hub, as it already has 6 universities along with many private colleges. And with the advent of the Rajiv Gandhi  Education City,  this area will become a much desired and sought after educational destination,” said Agarwal. There have been reports that the farmers whose land has been acquired by the Education City Project are not happy, because they believe that this Education City won’t be of any use to them. Neither will their children get admission in the institutions, nor any jobs.

Murthal: an evening igniter 

For those who want to spend their evenings away from the noise and crowd of the Capital, Murthal is the perfect place to go to. It is a small town situated on the banks of GT Road, and is just an hour’s drive from Delhi. You will relish the fresh and mouth-watering paranthas. Murthal is famous for its exotic and unique dhabas, that provide cheap quality food with the much desired flavour of desi ghee. “On weekdays we receive a large crowd from Delhi, as people come out of their homes to spend quality time with their families. The speciality of the dhabas here are the Paranthas. We offer all sort of Paranthas – including aaloo, pyaaz, gobi, chicken,” said Jagdish Sharma, owner of one of the dhabas.  

 Although HUDA  has developed a new city in the outskirts of the old one, it is still is quite cut off.  Despite the City of 3 lakh people being over-crowded and noisy, there is an alien silence which is not seen (or heard) in Gurgaon or Delhi.  


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