The decks seem to be clearing for the information technology investment region (ITIR) proposed in Odisha with the high powered committee of the Centre recommending the project to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for approval.
“Now that the high powered committee has recommended the ITIR to CCEA, we hope that the project will be cleared very soon. The ITIR will serve a dual purpose - creating enabling IT infrastructure and also boosting investments in the sector,” said Odisha’s IT secretary Madhusudhan Padhee.
The implementation of the proposed ITIR will involve a cost of Rs 17,883 crore.
The region would generate jobs for 0.23 million people and accommodate a population of around 0.54 million. More than 75 per cent of the investment will be made on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
The state government has already submitted the final report on the proposed IT investment region prepared by IL&FS-Infrastructure Development Corporation (IL&FS-IDC) to the Government of India. Besides Odisha, the IT investment regions are set to come up in the states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
The ITIR is to be developed on an area of 40 sq km (around 10,000 acres) between Bhubaneswar and Khurda. The project is expected to be fully operational by 2020.
In the final project report on the ITIR, IL&FS-IDC had included among other things an airport, a global IT training centre, a bio-tech park and a science city spread over 350 acres.
The airport was proposed to be developed on an area of about 2,300 acres close to the site of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Odisha which is being developed over 900 acres of land at Jatni, about 20 km from the city.
The Infocity-II project, being set up on over 600 acres of land at Janla on the outskirts of the city, would also be a part of the IT investment region.
The ITIR would be developed in two phases out of which 20 per cent of the investment would be committed in the first phase while the balance 80 per cent will be spent in the second phase.
While the Centre was to provide external infrastructure in the form of roads, the onus is on the state government to acquire land for the project.
As per the plan, forty per cent of the area of the ITIR would be earmarked for the processing units of information technology (IT) and ITes sectors (IT enabled services) as well as electronics and hardware manufacturing units.
The remaining 60 per cent of the area would be devoted to the non-processing facilities like research and development centre, technological institutes of national and international repute. This apart there would be a central business district, an integrated township comprising social infrastructure facilities like schools, hospitals and shopping malls and external infrastructure like roads.