Calcutta, Sept. 26: The government intends to spread the growth of information technology and enabled services beyond the city.
'There is no doubt that Calcutta has emerged as the locomotive of IT growth. Now we want this growth to visit other places with potential for an even economic success and creation of jobs,' the principal secretary of the information technology department, G.D. Gautama, said today.
The emphasis on having the IT momentum channelled to the districts appears to be rising from an increasing realisation in the government and the CPM that the confinement of the tech drive to the city could spell trouble.
The governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which operate from the tech capitals of the country ' Bangalore and Hyderabad ' have often been accused of ignoring the rest of the states when it came to sharing the IT pie.
Figuring on the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government's radar are Durgapur and Kharagpur, where software technology parks would be inaugurated in October.
Preparations for more such parks are underway in Siliguri and Haldia, Gautama told The Telegraph on the sidelines of a job fair organised by Genius Consultants.
The IT secretary shared the government's growth plans with tech professionals at the fair. 'We are looking for land in both the places (Durgapur and Kharagpur),' he said.
Infotech minister Manab Mukherjee, urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya, Gautama and a clutch of officials will visit Siliguri on Monday to showcase the prospects of IT and IT-enabled services to business and industry bodies in north Bengal.
Central assistance to the tune of Rs 4 crore and state funds worth Rs 1 crore will go into setting up the software parks. The state government will provide the land.
Negative stereotyping of Calcutta ' power cuts, poor infrastructure, militant trade unions and lack of work culture ' is giving way to an appreciation of the city as an emerging powerhouse, Gautama said, adding: 'Software majors across the globe are taking us seriously.'
Giants like TCS, IBM, NIIT, Price WaterhouseCoopers and others are expanding operations in the city. The second units of HSBC and Satyam will be commissioned soon, followed by the projects of Reliance and ITC Infotech.
R.P. Yadav, the managing director of the company that organised the job fair, said: 'We are planning such fairs in Delhi and other parts of the country later this year. Calcutta has begun to taste top-of-the-mind response from professionals. There is no doubt Bengal in its totality will start appealing to them before long.'
'With Saltlec bursting at its seams, the IT industry is rolling into New Town,' Gautama said, underlining the need to spread out.