| Sudip Banerjee, president, Enterprise Solutions, Wipro Technologies
Calcutta, Aug. 28: Wipro today joined rival Infosys in seeking land in Calcutta at less than half the price the government is asking for.
If Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government, which has offered plots to the IT giants at over Rs 1.5 crore an acre, is unable to revise its rate, Calcutta could well be the loser.
Bhubaneswar is also on Wipro’s radar in the east. Infosys already has a presence in the Orissa capital.
“We expect the Bengal government to offer land at a competitive rate, which we are being offered in other states — between Rs 50 and 70 lakh an acre,” said Sudip Banerjee, president, Enterprise Solutions, Wipro Technologies.
“The existing rate at Rajarhat is not an option and even after the reduction declared by the government, it is way too high. Now it is up to the government to offer us a rate and not lose out on an opportunity. It would be very difficult for us to conduct business on those kind of land prices,” he added.
Wipro, which is set to complete two years of operations in the city, has the fastest rate of growth among all its centres in the country here and employs over 3,000 people.
The company is expanding activities in its existing 19- acre special economic zone (SEZ) campus, which, when fully utilised, would provide jobs to 6,000-7,000 people.
“We had officially reduced the price to Rs 1.81 crore an acre and even offered a further reduction to Rs 1.51 crore. But the company has conveyed to us that it would not pay more than Rs 60 to Rs 70 lakh for an acre. So, we will be showing land to Wipro in the same location as Infosys,” said information technology minister Debesh Das.
Wipro has asked for 25 to 50 acres, while Infosys has sought 100 acres within Rs 5 lakh to Rs 30 lakh an acre.
A West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation plot, about 10 km from Calcutta airport, was shown to Infosys. Wipro officials, too, will be taken there for a survey.
Industry sources said the corporation is not willing to offer land at less than Rs 1.51 crore an acre when the rate is Rs 2.16 crore at Rajarhat.
“Discussions are on regarding land prices and we have to consider key factors like the cost of building a road through the 850-acre plot, part of which has been shown to Infosys and would now be shown to Wipro. Electricity and water, too, have to be brought to the WBIDC land,” Das said.
Wipro has already received 100 acres each in Hyderabad and Chennai and 25 acres in Goa for setting up its next development centre.
Calcutta High Court today declined to stay the acquisition of land at Singur in Hooghly for Tata Motors’ car factory.
A section of farmers had moved court trying to stall the process. Justice P.K. Chattopadhyay will hear the case again after the Puja break.
The government today extended by two days the deadline for hearing farmers’ complaints regarding the compensation offered or registering their consent. So far, 436 farmers have given their consent to the acquisition.