Members of the Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry have taken strong exception to the exclusion of Vijayawada city from the list of tier-II cities where the Government proposes to develop IT sector.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, president of the Chamber Muttavarapu Murali Krishna cited recent newspaper reports which indicated that the Government was toying with the idea of developing IT sector in Warangal, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam.

Wondering what prompted an abrupt exclusion of Vijayawada city from the list of ‘preferred destinations', Mr. Murali Krishna alleged ‘systematic' neglect of Vijayawada.

He said that the thermal power station at Ibrahimpatnam was the only big industry granted to this area years ago. Absence of IT and ITES in and around Vijayawada had been resulting in brain drain as young talent shifted elsewhere in search of greener pastures.

The region did not have a single IIT or IIM, NIT or a Central University and neither was there any research institute of repute. The NTR University of Health Sciences continued to struggle for existence even after 25 years of its inception and the School of Planning and Architecture was yet to take off. The long pending Super Speciality Hospital was yet to materialise while the proposed Greater Vijayawada was still a pipe dream.

Despite prevalence of a conducive atmosphere here for development of tourism, IT/ITES, trade, hospitality, health care, education, research, electronics and hardware, film and TV and other entertainment sectors, it was being overlooked by the authorities concerned, he alleged.

Vijayawada was a vibrant tier-II city with favourable conditions for IT development and the city therefore must find place in the list of the Government's preferred destinations, he observed. An IAS officer of the District Collector's rank must be posted here exclusively for the purpose, steps must be taken to provide the much-need impetus to the IT Park opposite Gannavaram airport and encourage small IT companies to set up shops within the city limits.

Demand

He also demanded revival of plans to develop a SEZ by the VGTM UDA in about 40-acre land in Amaravathi township near Mangalagiri. The authorities concerned must explore the feasibility of shifting the present Government Polytechnic and ITI elsewhere to pave way for better use of the prime land, he opined.

He suggested development of a techno park at the place comprising activities related to IT/ITES, animation studios, industry, bio-informatics, knowledge-based technologies and other infrastructure facilities.

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