The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Builders of tech towns land

Calcutta, Feb. 23: It can happen only in Bengal.

A day before a statewide shutdown, sponsored by the ruling party’s trade union wing which has threatened not to spare even services that have to run 24/7, the government handed to a Delhi-based real estate developer a large piece of land to build an edifice of the chief minister’s information technology dream.

Bengal’s largest IT and commercial complex — called an infotech habitat — will come up on 10 acres in New Town Rajarhat, in the northeastern part of the city.

DLF, which built the booming IT centres at Chandigarh and Gurgaon, will set up the complex that will be more like a self-contained city than just blocks of offices, which is what the existing Saltlec one is.

“The government is committed to creating world-class IT infrastructure. The fact that a private player like DLF is putting over Rs 250 crore into the project is vindication that Bengal is emerging as the hottest IT destination in the country,” IT minister Manab Mukherjee said after signing over the land.

Under the agreement inked between Webel and the DLF Group, around a million sq ft of space will be created with a host of support services like banks, multiplexes, restaurants and shopping complexes.

“We will invest around Rs 250 crore and expect the first phase, involving around 300,000 sq ft, to be up by March 2005,” said A.S. Manocha, adviser, DLF, a Rs 1,000-crore company.

“We will shortly start marketing the project. We will give both the options of outright sale and rent to our potential clients,” said Manocha.

These “potential clients” may be looking at tomorrow’s bandh and wondering.

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