The techies of Hyderabad cannot take it anymore, they have decided for self-help. Two terror attacks in close succession has shaken India's information technology (IT) and IT enabled services hub to the fact that they now need to protect Cyberabad, where terror might strike next.
So a public-private partnership came about hurriedly, for the first time in the country, where 250-odd companies though an industry-body, has tied up with the police to form a council which will install a security cover over the area to safeguard their business interests. Something which they were contemplating after May 18 attack on Mecca Masjid but this latest series of blasts brought about the final agreement.
Hyderabad has replaced Mumbai, Pune even Gurgaon as the country's brand image for IT and ITES around which an old and traditional city has evolved into a progressive, trendy megapolis. As a vanguard of India's IT expertise and professionalism in the international arena, both Hyderabad and Bangalore have now assumed importance how the country's business performance and technological brilliance are perceived.
"This is why we wanted to send out a message to the international community that we are not exposing our clients to unnecessary risks and have taken firm steps to stop it. There has to be a system to monitor all possible terrorist movement in the area," said Mallikarjun Rao, CEO of Hyderabad Software Exporter's Security Council and an executive member of Hyderabad Software Exporter's Association (HYSEA).
"If the terrorists decide to target the Cyberabad, the country's image will take a beating, IT will be out of business. There is no point in believing that miscreants won't attack us as it will get them maximum prominence and publicity," he added.
The police commissioner of Hyderabad is a honourary chairman of the council, who feels it was not lack of trust on the police. "It is good if they decide to assist up, like every responsible citizen would like to," he said.
The council is a public private participation between Hyderabad City Police and HYSEA which is now planning to install a foolproof electronically aided security system in the Hitech City.
Already three checkposts have been installed to regulate traffic movement. On the anvil are a central command and dedicated team who will monitor all the movements in the Hitech city and feed 250–odd companies which have become members of the council.
Close circuit televisions will be installed on all the roads, dedicated electronic surveillance system will form a web through the complex which will connect all the companies in a loop.
"The area will be decided as high security sensitive zone where no one can leave any object anywhere unattended. The software is being developed," said L Suresh, executive member of the security council and secretary of HYSEA.
Terror has already started bothering Hyderabad IT industry. On Monday a couple of companies reported that their clients had postponed their visits to the pearl-city indefinitely. Another company reported a client withdrawing from them on the pretext of the blasts.
Monday also saw a state-wide strike called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Though the IT sector was operational, many preferred to stay indoors. Business in the city was closed.