Friday, February 23, 2007

Mukesh, Anil eye Bangalore IT project

Mukesh, Anil eye Bangalore IT project
Business Standard

Ambani brothers – Mukesh and Anil – are the only two Indians of the 24 bidders shortlisted for the Rs 50,000 crore, 10,000 acre Knowledge City being developed specifically to meet the requirements of the IT industry’s growth in Karnataka. The other developers are from across the globe, including players from Dubai, Europe and Asia.

The project is being developed in Bidadi, around 25 km from the city limits of Bangalore. When completed, the township will meet the space requirements of the IT industry in Karnataka for 10 years, growing at 30 per cent a year and will have the capacity to house 7.5 lakh employees.

M N Vidhyashankar, secretary - IT, biotechnology and science & technology, Karnataka government, today said this project would be an integrated township, which would have office space, residential colonies, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and all the required amenities. He was speaking at an interactive session with the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

“We expect to hand over the land to the developer by April this year and work on the first phase is expected to kick off during the second half of the year. Then it will take around 18 months for the initial phase to be commissioned,” he said. The first phase will involve work over 2,500 acres.

The Knowledge City will be connected to the upcoming Bangalore International Airport by an eight-lane highway, which when completed will connect the airport and the Knowledge City in a 30-minute drive.

“One of the criteria for companies setting up shops in this campus is that employees must reside in the complex, which will result in less congestion in Bangalore city,” Vidhyashankar said.

The state government is also moving fast to set up the country’s first IT finishing school for graduates tailored for the requirements of the industry. “Three Indian IT companies are setting up this school in Mysore with affiliation of the Mysore University. This school, which will offer a 12-month diploma course, will churn out 5,000 students in the first year and is, subsequently, expected to scale up this to 20,000 students in the coming years,” he said.

In addition to the knowledge city for the IT sector, the Karnataka government has also awarded the biotech park contract to US-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. “Nearly 90 per cent of the biotech parks in the US have been developed by this company and this is the first time it is venturing into Asia,” Vidhyashankar said.

The project will be developed across 106 acres in the Electronic City at an investment of Rs 550 crore.


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