The development of an information technology centre, 'IT City', in the Uttar Pradesh capital of Lucknow has moved closer to realisation after the state government on Monday issued a the letter of intent (LoI) to technology firm HCL Technologies, through its investment arm Vamasundari, to develop the project over an area of 100 acres.
The letter was issued in the presence of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Speaking to reporters, Yadav said the IT city in Lucknow breaks the trend of IT firms confining their new ventures to the Delhi National Capital Region. HCT is headquartered in Noida. "This once again proves that Samajwadi Party is not against computers or English," he said.
Founder and chairman of HCL Shiv Nadar said that the company will work on cloud computing, which envisages use of computing concepts involving a large number of computers connected through a real-time communication network such as the Internet.
"We originated in UP, hence it is like our wish coming true as we go on to develop an IT city in Lucknow," Nadar said.
On a query about the poor law and order situation in the state, he said, "I ... feel it is an exaggerated notion. UP is such a big state where one incident or the other is bound to happen."
The IT city is proposed to be developed over a period of 10 years. The first three years will be devoted to development of infrastructure, including buildings, roads, sewerage and establishment of power infrastructure. In the next two years, the company will develop an IT/IT enabled services (ITeS) development centre and a skill development centre.
Within the first five years, the company will invest around Rs500 crore on the new centre. Over the next five years, the IT centre will be expanded over another 20 acres. A non-core area will comprise residential and commercial facilities spread over 40 acres.
Nadar said the skill development centre will enrol around 1,000 persons in the first year; and will increase it gradually to 5,000 . "In a way, the city will provide direct employment to around 25,000 persons and indirect employment to 50,000 people," he said
Uttar Pradesh chief secretary, Jawed Usmani said the state government will provide financial help to those getting enrolled at the skill development centre. The help will range to a maximum of Rs5,000 per month.
The project is expected to attract an investment of Rs1,500 crore after 10 years when the city is complete. The centre has already been granted the status of special economic zone (SEZ), giving it various tax benefits.
The company in its request for proposal (RFP) had offered a premium amount of around Rs50 crore on the land, which is almost three times the cost of land in Chak Ganjaria estimated by the Lucknow district administration.