IT Special Economic Zone at Rushikonda Hill No. 2 notified by the Ministry of Commerce on April 24, 2009 with a view to convert the area into Cyberabad of Visakhapatnam is being de-notified on the plea of the allottees.

Sources told The Hindu that APIIC, the nodal agency which developed facilities in over 100 acres on the hill overlooking the sea, has launched an exercise to de-notify in deference to the repeated requests by the allottees.

Most of the allottees, who developed their state-of-the art facilities atop the hill, had bought the land from VUDA on payment of Rs.10 lakh per acre.

They later paid Rs.8 lakh per acre to VUDA for development of required amenities. As part of SEZ Policy, the allottees were later asked to convert the land-holding from individual ownership to lease to avail of incentives such as tax holiday.

When contacted, Zonal Manager of APIIC V. Nagabhushan Reddy said the process was on and the Board of Approval in the Ministry of Commerce had to clear the proposal subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.

Symbiosys Technologies, Mahati Software, Sankhya Technologies, Color Chips, Nu Net Technologies and Clove Technologies are some of the units which set up their technology centres in the SEZ.

“Our sale deed was converted into lease deed after lot of persuasion by the officials as a result of which, we were denied bank loans for having conditional lease.

Had we been given 99-year lease, we would have got hassle-free bank finance. Once our ownership right is restored to us, loan will not be a problem,” O. Naresh Kumar, vice-president of Rushikonda IT Park Association, said.

Sources said those units, which failed to provide employment at the rate of 100 per allotment of one acre, will be forced to refund the incentives they had availed so far under the SEZ Policy to restore full ownership of land-holding.

“Once we get ownership right, we can lease out the facilities developed by us or sell part our land to outsiders instead of keeping it idle,” pointed out one of the IT promoters.

Second largest centre

IT exports from the city, the second largest centre after Hyderabad in the State, is expected to go up from last year’s Rs.1200 crore to Rs.1500 crore during current fiscal.

Of four lakh built-up of area developed by Symbiosys, Mahati, Soft Sol and Nu Net, nearly 75 per cent is lying unutilised. The de-notification once done is expected to attract more players to Rushikonda.