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|October 7, 1997||
No takers yet for Hitech CityAt Madapur, 15 kilometres away from the Andhra Pradesh capital of Hyderabad, work on the first phase of Hitech City is well on schedule. Hitech City is a joint venture project between the state government and Larsen and Toubro to build a facility for housing information technology units.
But despite the enthusiasm of the builders which is promising to finish work on schedule by September next year, the industry seems to be cold-shouldering the project.
But till date there have been no takers for the facility. The reason, many believe, is the high price of Rs 2,750 ($75) per square feet.
L&T has almost completed work on the 10,000 square metres basement, the biggest in the country. The basement has three levels, the lowest for parking, the second for service and the third for water storage.
Once the basement is ready, work on the 10 floors will commence. According to Project Manager D Ganasekar "We will put one slab of 40,000 square feet every 11 days, completing the shell for the entire structure in 110 days."
Neither State Industry Minister Basheeruddin Babu Khan, nor Executive Director (Projects and New Initiatives) of the Andhra Pradesh Infrastructure Corporation Jarugumilli Rama Krishna Rao, could give a clear picture of the response from the potential software, hardware and electronics industry for whom the infrastructure is being created.
Rao admits that as of date, no space has been booked by any IT unit though several enquiries have been received.
Rao believes that the grouse that the price being quoted is very high cannot be substantiated. "In Infocity in Whitefield, far from Bangalore city, they are charging Rs 5,000 per square feet. But we are asking for only Rs 2,750," Rao pointed out.
An executive of the L&T marketing department admitted that no space has so far been booked though several enquiries are being processed.
L&T has an 89 per cent stake in the venture with APIIC holding the remaining. Even in the case of the much publicised Indian Institute of Information Technology things do not seem to be moving according to the government's expectation. IIIT is an industry driven centre for excellence in education and training. But so far only Tata IBM and Microsoft have initiated an agreement to set up a school on the campus.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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