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Rs 4000-crore IT park plan by Mahindra

Calcutta, Dec. 17: Mahindra & Mahindra is set to invest Rs 4,000 crore in Bengal over the next few years to develop a 100-acre IT special economic zone.

Arun Nanda, the executive director of the company and president of its infrastructure development wing, today met information technology minister Debesh Das, chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb and tourism minister Manab Mukherjee at Writers’ Buildings.

The conglomerate with interests ranging from automobile, IT and financial services to infrastructure development and real estate is also keen on setting up a hotel in Rajarhat.

“All I can say that it was a courtesy visit. Being a Calcutta lad, I came to see the developments taking place here,” Nanda said.

However, sources said the group had asked for 100 to 200 acres and wanted the land as soon as possible. It is apparently willing to look beyond Calcutta — at places like Kalyani and Siliguri — for the land.

This should come as good news for the land-strapped infotech department with the likes of Infosys, Wipro Technologies and ITC Infotech awaiting land allotment in Calcutta or very close to it.

The government is expected to get back to Mahindra & Mahindra with a proposal and possible sites for its projects in two to three months.

Hundred acres could mean workspace for 40,000 to 50,000 people, a source said. “They are planning something big,” he added.

This is the second big-ti-cket IT park planned in the state after DLF announced its Rs 700-crore project in New Town Rajarhat.

The DLF investment figure did not include the cost of land. The project would be completed in phases with the entire park becoming operational in two-three years.

The 2.5-million sqft DLF park is set to house big names like Accenture, Microsoft, Symantec, Siemens and IBM.

Mahindra’s IT company, Tech Mahindra, is building a 12-acre SEZ in Bantala. It is likely to employ 2,000 people in the first phase (18 months).

The proposal for the hotel comes at a time the city is fast becoming a hot destination for hospitality biggies. Taj’s Gateway brand, Intercontinental and DLF Hilton are setting up hotels. Starwood Capital and Trident are looking for space.

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