State IT projects likely to be delayed

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NT NETWORK

 

PANAJI

There could be more delay for Goa’s two information technology (IT) projects – the electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) cluster at Tuem and the IT Park at Chimbel, as preliminary work on the projects is largely incomplete.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times,’ IT secretary Ameya Abhayankar said that work on the ESDM cluster will commence after the state signs an agreement with the Centre for the project and receives the first installment of funds.

“The process of signing the agreement has been started and a project cell has been constituted,” he said, adding that the project cell will prepare estimates of the cost, design, layout, etc.

Abhayankar said that groundwork for the ESDM cluster is in an advanced stage of preparation. He, however, revealed that the master plan and the design are not yet frozen. “Firming up the plans and the design will take another 30-45 days. Once that is done, we will come to know about the commissioning date,” he said.

The IT secretary said that the IT Park at Chimbel will come up in two phases with phase I comprising of a small IT village followed by a startup village in phase 2. The groundwork on the IT Park will be finalised in about six months’ time, he said.

Both the projects are being planned to attract investors in IT. They were proposed in 2015 but work on them was yet to commence.

In December 2016, the ESDM cluster got the central government’s approval

 

 

with the Ministry of Electronics and IT approving Rs 75 crore for it. The ESDM cluster was also in the news because of Aequs, a defence company based in Belagavi, showing interest in setting up a Rs 500-crore aerospace unit. But it is not known whether Aequs is still interested in setting up the plant. Similarly, the IT Park continues to face opposition from the villagers.

Asked whether IT companies from other states were keen to invest in Goa, Abhayankar said that Goa has one of the highest per capita labour productivity in India of both blue- and white-collared workers. “So it clearly shows that the human resource availability in the state and potential for attracting IT companies from elsewhere is extremely robust,” he said.

The government will focus on skill development in emerging technologies like creating apps, artificial intelligence, internet of things among others. He said that the government is keen on the ESDM cluster and the IT Park to attract investors interested in setting up animation, gaming and software coding units.