The draft Detailed Project Report on IT Investment Region (ITIR) in Visakhapatnam is ready, making a major headway towards putting pressure on the Centre to promote the region as an international hub.

The State government appointed Ernst & Young as the consultant for pursuing the demand for the State’s second ITIR. The demand had gained momentum after the Centre cleared the proposal for ITIR in Hyderabad with an investment of over Rs.2 lakh crore over a period of 20 years when the Samaikyandhra agitation was at its peak.

APIIC, which was designated as the nodal agency for the project has already identified some of the probable sites in the city – where IT infrastructure could be developed once ITIR project is cleared by the Centre.

Knowledge City

The sites identified include 1,700 acres of vacant land at Kappulauppada earlier earmarked for Knowledge City, processing and non-processing areas such as IT Special Economic Zones at Rushikonda and Gambheeram.

The zone will also have hotels, housing zones, educational institutions and shopping complexes.

“We want the draft DPR to be circulated among interested people so as to consider our suggestions for making ITIR proposal fool-proof. As it is, due to the initiative of Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Killi Kruparani and MoS for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari, IT Minister Kapil Sibal has agreed for the first time to consider sanctioning second ITIR in AP,” Rushikonda IT Park Association vice-president O. Naresh Kumar said.

He said they had proposed promotion of mini-IT investment zones at Vizianagaram and Srikakulam making use of highway connectivity and availability of engineering and management students from the local colleges.

During a recent chat with The Hindu, State IT Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said that irrespective of political ramifications, they were very keen on getting sanction for second ITIR for Visakhapatnam.

Sources said ITIR in the city will attract an investment of Rs.50,000 crore in an area of 10,000 acres -- 40 per cent of which will be processing area.

Hyderabad is having an IT business to the tune of Rs.64,000 crore – almost 97 per cent of the business of the State. On the other hand, the turnover of Visakhapatnam is estimated to be around Rs.1500 crore.