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Plots sought for IT hubs at Rajarhat

The government on Friday made formal arrangements for acquiring land for the two Information Technology townships it had earlier said would come up at Rajarhat.

The two townships, tentatively named Knowledge City and Sunrise City, will come up on 500 acres in Rajarhat New Town. Information technology minister Manab Mukherjee, said on Friday that he had brought over international consultants to Rajarhat New Town for an on-the-spot assessment.

“They (the consultants) told me that New Town was a goldmine for setting up infotech hubs because of the planned way it was coming up and its proximity to the airport. The future of the infotech sector in Bengal lies in the New Town,” he added. Minister Mukherjee was speaking at the inauguration of the East Enclave Housing Project, constructed by the state housing board. Keys were handed over to those who had been allotted apartments in the complex.

Mukherjee said he had held a meeting with housing minister Gautam Deb during the day and sought 500 acres for the infotech townships.

Deb, who was also present at the function, said infotech was being given utmost priority and the sector must be taken forward on a war footing in Bengal to provide employment opportunities to thousands of youths.

“We must hurry, or else youths interested in a career in the infotech sector will shift to cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad. We will do our best to develop the infotech industry in the state,” minister Deb said.

Sources in the housing department said about 1,500 acres will be ready in New Town’s action area I by June. “From this, we will earmark some land for the IT sector. We will think about how more land can be given to the sector when we develop the action area II,” an official said.

Deb said it will take about two years before New Town is connected to Calcutta. Underlining the need for more and more public transport networks in the area, Deb said he had already urged housing department officials to take up the project with the transport department. “We have plans for a Metro Rail, buses and trains. We have to build up a wide transport network in New Town, which is thrice the size of Salt Lake,” he added.

About 10 minutes drive from Nicco Park, the East Enclave — with 224 flats for the lower, middle and higher-income groups — was the first project of the state housing board.

Lauding the efforts of the agencies engaged in developing New Town, like the housing board and the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco), transport minister Subhas Chakraborty said the town was developing faster than Chandigarh and Salt Lake.

Spread over 3.4 acres, the complex, which took three years to complete, has 64 flats each for the lower and middle-income groups. The complex has 96 flat for the higher-income group.

Housing minister Deb said New Town will have everything, from medical colleges to an engineering university, and industries. “Here (in New Town), we will have everything, from our own Park Street to complexes like Nandan. The area is so much in demand that we are getting applications for plots every day. St Xavier’s College and Loreto have written to us, saying they are willing to set up campuses,” he added.

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