Rolta India, which is planning to set up its third research and development centre in a new IT park coming up in West Bengal, chose this location over a probable southern destination. The company provides comprehensive services and solutions in GIS, defence and homeland security and engineering and design.

The Chairman of Rolta, K. K. Singh, told reporters here that Rs.250 crore would be spent within five years to set up a ‘big R&D' centre. The other two such facilities are located in the company's headquarters in Mumbai and in Delhi. The company, which was also looking at the South for locating this facility, chose the city for the facilities it offered, including a vast talent pool and reasonable land rates. The project's foundation was laid by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday.

Rolta would take five acres out of a 10-acre IT Park that will come up at this location which is around 13 km from the Central Business District and close to the airport. Named the East Kolkata IT Park, this would be the city's fourth IT hub and would see investments from two other companies one being HSBC Electronics Data Processing Pvt Ltd., for whom this would be the second city unit, while the third company, HCL Infosystems, has taken up 1.5 acres for locating its regional headquarters with a skill development centre and an infrastructure and a management centre. Total employment would be 1,500. The Park, where about one million sq. ft. of built-up space would be developed is expected to be operational by 2012. Employment generation would be around 10,000.

Mr. Bhattacharjee said that land had already been given to three big players in the IT industry. Admitting that the State was a late starter in promoting this industry, he said that the State was trying to expand the current area under IT parks by developing new ones in Siliguri in North Bengal and in Durgapur. While asking the IT institutes to raise their quality of teaching and bring it in tune with industry needs, he exhorted the industry to give preference to local skill, while hiring. State IT Minister Debesh Das said the city and Noida were the only two regions to clock positive growth rates in IT exports last year when the global meltdown had left an industry-wide scar. Exports now stand at Rs.6,500 crore against Rs.2,700 crore four years ago.

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