Kerala CM to lay foundation stone for Rs 4,000 crore 'Cyber City'

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Kochi, Jan 17 (UNI) Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan will ceremonially lay the foundation stone for the proposed Rs 4,000 crore 'HDIL Cyber City' at Kalmaserry here on January 19, HDIL Chairman Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan said today.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the Cyber City, to be spread over an area of 70 acres, would be Kerala's first integrated IT township, comprising IT/ITES companies, residential apartments and villas, schools, shopping malls, a multiplex, a club house, serviced apartments and a star hotel.

He said HDIL, one of the largest real estate developers in the country, would invest Rs 4,000 crore over a period of 48 months to develop the IT park, expected to generate 60,000 direct and 150,000 indirect employment opportunities.

Stating that Kochi had been ranked as the second most favoured IT/ITES destination by NASSCOM, Mr Wadhawan said some top IT companies from India and abroad were planning to set up offices here in the next three to five years.

NASSCOM had projected about 500,000 IT/ITES job opportunities in Kerala in the next five years, he added.

Besides generating employment for the local youth, the project would yield more than Rs 425 crore for the State Government by way of stamp and registration duty and employee welfare and village tax.

Declaring that the company would ensure that the project did not drain the local resources and infrastructure, Mr Wadhawan said a German desalination water plant and power backup systems would be put up as part of the cybercity.

''We do not want Kochi to go the Bangalore way, where the original city and culture have been virtually killed by the IT industry,'' he said.

HDIL Director Ashok Gupta said 70 per cent of the cyber city would be earmarked for IT/ITES, while the balance would be used for other purposes.

The company had purchased the required 70 acres of land at Kalmaserry and had also arranged the fund flow for the project, he said.

UNI ARC GD MSJ BST1604

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