Project report prepared by Ernst & Young under study, says the IT Minister

The State Government would put forth a formal proposal to the Government of India for developing IT Investment Region (ITIR) in Visakhapatnam by January-end, Minister for IT Ponnala Lakshmaiah said on Wednesday.

The detailed project report prepared by Ernst & Young is under study. “In principle, we have accepted it and circulating it among various departments,” he said.

Mr. Lakshmaiah, who was here to attend a private function, said the district administration had identified 8,000 acres for ITIR. He said he had recently directed the officials to earmark another 4,000 acres. The project would get clearances on fast-track mode.

IT clusters

ITIR is proposed in an area of 12,000 acres as per Centre’s norms. It will attract an investment of Rs.50,000 to Rs.60,000 crore. The sites proposed are located at Rushikonda, Kapulauppada and Gambheeram. The announcement of ITIR in Hyderabad in September with an estimated investment of Rs.2.19 lakh crore over a period of 20 years triggered widespread protests in Seemaandhra region when the Samaikyandhra agitation was at its peak. Later the government clarified that they would actively consider the demand for promoting IT in Seemandhra by setting up ITIR in Visakhapatnam and IT clusters at Anantapur, Tirupati and other places.

Hyderabad, which is the main hub for IT, accounts for 97 per cent of IT turnover from Andhra Pradesh. It clocked a turnover of Rs.64,354 crore where as rest of AP accounted for just three per cent. Visakhapatnam has an annual turnover of Rs.1,445 crore.

Asked to comment on tardy progress in the completion of work on incubation centre at Rushikonda for plug and play operators, which was supposed to be ready by year-end, he said he would supervise the progress and instruct the officials concerned to complete it as fast as possible.

He said under a pilot project, Parawada mandal in Visakhapatnam had become the first mandal to have 100 GPS bandwidth under National Optical Fibre Network. He said optic fibre broadband would be provided to 25,000 villages.

4G services

Mr. Lakshmaiah said 4G service would be made available in the State from next month. He said first 4G spectrum service would be launched in Warangal and in next phase, it would be extended to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Tirupati, Karimnagar and other places.

Stating that Reliance had completed its network for 4G, he said the introduction of the facility would make data transmission cheap.

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