|Karnataka, which has been in the forefront of setting a model for other states in the new economy sectors, is all set to usher in a second IT revolution.|
The move follows the State’s bid to give shape to an Information Technology Investment Regions (ITIRs) policy mooted by the Union Ministry of Information Technology & Communications.
The State government through its nodal agency—Karnataka Electronics Corporation (Keonics)—has identified five corridors for setting up the proposed ITIRs.
The ITIR policy is aimed at promoting investment in IT, ITeS and electronic hardware manufacturing (EHM) sectors. The corridors identified for ITIRs are Hubli-Dharwad-Belgaum, Bangalore-BIAL-Devanahalli, Mangalore-Surathkal-Udupi, Shimoga - Bhadravathi and Bangalore - Tumkur regions.
However, how far the new move would lure investors into ITIRs is debatable given that some of the IT parks in State’s Tier-II cities have elicited only muted response.
Official sources told Deccan Herald that each ITIR is expected to be in a 40-sq km area covering 10,000 acres in each region. The ITIRs would boast of excellent infrastructure so that prospective investors can reap the benefits of networking and greater efficiency through common infrastructure and support services. Such a complex would also help boost exports and generate employment.
Sources said Keonics had invited expression of interest (EoI) from consultants to prepare a techno-economic pre-feasibility report (TER), in the first phase, for the Hubli-Dharwar-Belgaum ITIR. Of the three consultants—PriceWaterhouse Coopers Pvt Ltd (PWC), IL&FS and Mott MacDonald—shortlisted for giving technical presentation, PWC and Mott MacDonald were chosen. The two would undertake necessary survey and submit a techno-feasibility report (TFR) which will go into the identification of government and private land available for acquisition, water availability and power. Since undertaking the TFR, to be submitted in 60 days, would cost over Rs 30 lakh to Rs 3 crore, the proposal has been set for financial clearance. The government is keen to take up an ITIR in the Bangalore-BIAL-Devanahalli region as well simultaneously, EoI has been invited from consultants for TFR.
The ITIRs would also host processing facilities where IT, ITeS and EHMs would be located and non-processing areas, which will include residential, commercial and other social and institutional infrastructure. The minimum processing area for ITIR will be about 40 per cent of the total designated area. The ITIRs may include SEZs, industrial parks, free trade and warehousing zones and export-oriented units. To be developed on public-private partnership, the centres will ensure external physical infrastructure linkages—roads, airports, and rail. Each ITIR will have large IT/ITeS/EHM units. While ITIRs will be built and managed by a developers, other facilities would be provided by the Centre and State government.