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Private pitch for IT space in city

The Chatterjee Group will create more than 1 million sq ft of space in the city for the IT industry over the next three years. Purnendu Chatterjee, chairman of The Chatterjee Group (TCG), announced this on Saturday at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the third tower at Bengal Intelligent Park. The tower will have around 3.25 lakh sq ft of space.

“We have always believed Bengal to be a natural technology hub. The state has all the long-term criteria to be an IT destination,” said Chatterjee. Over the past eight years, the group has set up companies like TCG Software, CATS and Skytech in Salt Lake Electronics Complex.

TCG will pump in around Rs 150 to 180 crore to build the infrastructure. As per the plan, after the 18-storeyed third tower — to be built in around 14 months — TCG will set up a bigger facility with 4 lakh sq ft space in the same complex.

“We have another plot in Salt Lake, where we can create another 4 lakh sq ft space. In view of the rising demand, we think there will be enough takers,” he added.

According to a Nasscom study, the IT industry in the country will require around 100 million sq ft of space in the next five years and will create over 1.5 million jobs.

“All our group companies here are doing well,” said Chatterjee. Taking into account its group companies, TCG employs over 1,200 people, of whom 800 are based in Calcutta. Leading the pack is Skytech, which will take its headcount to over 2,500 from the present strength of 350 in less than two years.

Taking a cue from Chatterjee, the state IT minister also announced the government’s plan to create more space for the IT industry in the city. “Besides the tower in Bengal Intelligent Park, three other projects will be commissioned in the next 60 days. We will finalise the first project in Rajarhat New Town in the next 30 days, while the other two, one in Salt Lake and the other in Sunrise City, will start in two months,” said Mukherjee.

The state government is providing land for these projects and the tendering process has already started. “Though we believe that the growth of the industry will depend on private initiative, the government also has to prepare human resources and infrastructure,” said Mukherjee.

The government has already initiated discussions with the engineering colleges to introduce foreign languages like Japanese, German and French in the curriculum and is talking to Calcutta University to introduce communication courses in undergraduate colleges.

Help for pilgrims

A 90-member team of pilgrims from Myanmar were bailed out by Eastern Railway (ER) on Saturday. The tourists, bound for Gaya, boarded a flight from Dum Dum on Saturday morning. However, the flight could not land at Gaya due to bad weather and returned to Calcutta. “On receiving a request from Indian Airlines, we added two coaches to Howrah-Mumbai Mail via Allahabad. The tourists will leave for Gaya on Saturday night,” an ER official said.

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