The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rocky route to tech town

PROBLEM: Ravaged roads in the state's information technology hub, the Salt Lake Electronics Complex (Saltlec), also known as Sector V

PROGNOSIS: Too many minders ' Bidhannagar Municipality, Webel, urban development department, Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) and Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) ' spoiling the streets

PROMISE: Tech town is to be bestowed industrial zone status

Road' What road' Where road' This is the case of the missing link to Bengal's future in the knowledge economy. It is touted as the state's answer to both global and local hi-tech towns, but the road ahead is as rough as it gets, paved by pitfalls and puddles.

'Talking about poor road conditions in Saltlec has become a clich'. First we crib, then the government makes promises and finally, fails to deliver. We start cribbing once again and the process goes on' We have kind of learnt to live with it,' says a senior officer of a leading IT company, on condition of anonymity.

With the government keen to crown the tech town an industrial zone, a fresh pack of promises has popped out of the seat of governance.

'Efforts are on for the past eight months to give Saltlec the status of an industrial zone. The work got stalled as the necessary clearance from the delimitation commission was pending. Now, the permission has come and the municipal affairs department will shortly issue a notification to this effect,' said G.D. Gautama, principal secretary, IT.

The government has drawn up a plan, according to which a board will be set up to look into the issues in Sector V.

The mandate for the board ' comprising officials from the CMDA, Webel and other stakeholders ' will include beautification of the area, maintenance of sewerage and roads and enabling development of necessary social infrastructure.

'We are planning a public private partnership model to take care of the basic facilities in Sector V and I think that's how we will be able to solve some of the problems,' summed up Gautama.

Till then, fasten your seatbelts and say your prayers before venturing into Bengal's IT capital.

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