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Andhra city to challenge Bangalore

A foreign consortium is planning to set up a state-of-the-art integrated science city in Andhra, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2007 20:07 IST
Ashok Das

The name has changed from Bangalore to Bengaluru, and some big foreign investors are planning to challenge its reputation too.

India's Silicon Valley, groaning under infrastructural problems, should brace up for stiff competition. A consortium of four Australia and Singapore-based companies are planning to set up a state-of-the-art integrated science city, at  Odicheruvu in Andhra Pradesh, barely 200 km, a three-hour-drive, from Bangalore to attract high technology industries with unprecedented facilities.

The investor consortium consists of Australia's Springfield Land Corporation and Macquarie Bank and Singapore's Jurong International Group and Semb Corp Industries. The city built over 10 years with a foreign direct investment of $25 billion provide a platform for 500 companies to establish their branches in every field of manufacturing, travel, commerce, financial services, retailing and transportation, Andhra officials said.

The Odyssey Science City, fashioned on the lines of Australia's Greater Springfield, would come up in an area of 65,000 acres spread over two revenue territories in Anantapur district. It will provide direct employment to 15 lakh people and indirect employment to another 10 lakh.

The first three years alone will see an investment of $3 billion.

An agreement to set up the venture was signed by KRK Reddy, Andhra Pradesh's Additional Secretary (Industries), on behalf of the state government and Bob Sharpless, managing director, Springfield Land Corporation, in the presence Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy in Hyderabad.

"We are all excited about the announcement of Odyssey Science City in an area that has been perennially drought-prone and most backward in the state," Reddy said and assured all assistance from the state government, besides facilitating clearances from the central government for the project.

Springfield's Sharpless said the project envisaged a self-contained, hi-tech complex with its own comprehensive infrastructure, including power, expressways, telecom networks, desalination plants, biotech parks, special economic zones (SEZs), IT/Biotech parks, industrial parks, hospitals, educational institutions, hotels and amusement parks.

"The Odyssey Science City intends to develop the Science City as a national centre for technology and innovations, information technology and supercomputing, hi-tech manufacturing industries, software development, biotechnology, bio-pharmaceuticals, advanced research and development, artificial intelligence, industrial robotics, high-tech manufacturing industries, export-oriented centres, media and telecommunications, education, finance and banking, tourism and entertainment, fine arts, medical and healthcare services," Sharpless said.

The government will hand over 25,000 acres of land in the first phase and the remaining 40,000 acres in the second phase.

The government will also reserve a 10-km-stretch of green fields around the Science city and a 200-metre corridor on each side of the archway of the roads which are being built. The developers require 10 to 12 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet of water for the construction of the project in the first year which will subsequently be increased from the second year onwards.

The developers will also set up a power project for captive generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

Email Ashok Das: ashokdas2000@rediffmail.com