Laiqh A. Khan
Planners must debate and devise a development model
The other side Influx of employees and their families will be a strain on city infrastructure Real estate prices will skyrocket There will be haphazard growth in layouts Law and order problems will increase
MYSORE: The proposal to set up 24 new IT companies with a potential to create an additional 20,000 jobs, at a cost of Rs. 1,000 crores, may have brought Mysore to the threshold of a boom in the IT sector, but the cascading effect of an influx of employees and their families on the fragile infrastructure of the city has already raised concerns.
Even if IT Secretary M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda's recent announcement in the city that the new companies will start operating out of Mysore as early as March 2006 is taken with a pinch of salt, experts in Mysore's IT industry opine that IT companies are bound to come to Mysore sooner than later on account of saturation in Bangalore.
"With the four-lane highway almost complete and the work on Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) also progressing, IT companies will logically move to Mysore and decongest Bangalore," observed Managing Director of Excel Soft, Mysore, Sudhanva.
But, retired Chief Engineer of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and member of the dissolved Mysore Agenda Task Force (MATF) H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana has expressed concern over the impact of the anticipated IT boom on city's infrastructure.
Cost of living
"An increase of 20,000 jobs in the IT sector will also lead to a corresponding growth in the ancillary and tertiary sector," he said adding that every job in the IT sector will also create employment for an additional six persons in supporting areas, leading to a manifold increase in vehicular population, sky-rocketing real estate values and a steep increase in cost of living index.
"There will be law and order problems too. In short, Mysore will also join the ranks of many urban centres, where living conditions have nose-dived," Mr. Bapu Satyanarayana said.
Making out a case for a development model for Mysore in the wake of the city's anticipated growth, he said the Government, social scientists, engineers, planners, intellectuals, historians and the public should debate the issue and come out with a development model.
Already the roads in Mysore are choked with the existing 3.2 lakh vehicles. Real estate prices in Mysore have soared considerably in the last few months. The influx of employees will lead to haphazard growth of layouts.
Mr. Sudhanva felt that the authorities should adopt the Dubai-model of development, where the Government had built an exclusive "Dubai Internet City", about 25 km away from Dubai to decongest city. "Dubai Internet City" is a cluster of IT companies, which enjoy easy access to the city with state-of-the-art roads. Apartments to house IT employees can also be built in the same area," he said. Another way out is to distribute the new IT industries in different industrial areas, Mr. Sudhanva said.
Mysore also figures prominently among the locations identified by the State Government for setting up an Advanced Semiconductor Fabrication (Fab) facility. It will be the first-of-its-kind in the sub-continent, at a cost of Rs. 15,000 crores.
The State Government has announced its readiness to offer the consortium led by Advance Micro Devices Inc and SemIndia Inc, 1,500 acres at Tandya in Nanjangud near here to set up the Fab City. The facility is expected to create a whopping 20,000 jobs.
Volkswagen team's visit
A team from German automobile giant Volkswagen visited Mysore recently to identify locations for setting up its manufacturing plant.
However, a final decision is awaited from the team, which also visited Hassan and Mangalore.