Wipro accepts West Bengal’s land proposal (Lead)

December 10th, 2009 - 11:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) IT services major Wipro Technologies has accepted West Bengal’s offer of 50 acres in Rajarhat on the outskirts of the city for setting up its second campus, bringing some relief to the ruling Left Front.
Earlier in the day, Wipro chairman Azim Premji with officials of his company visited the plot, and also held a meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings.

“We visited the site in the morning and have settled with the government for purchase of the land. We appreciate the support we have received from the state government,” Premji told reporters after talks with the chief minister.

He said the plot has a lot of potential.

The land belonging to the Housing Infrastructure Development Corp (Hidco) will be handed over to the IT giant for Rs.1.5 crore per acre.

Premji said his company would start work in 18 months. “The area is getting ready.”

State Information Technology Minister Debesh Das said payment for the Rs.75-crore plot would be made in two phases, with the first phase payment likely to be executed by the month end.

Das said: “The decision of Wipro to go for its second campus in Kolkata even at this time of downturn proves the state’s potential in IT industries”.”

“With the inclusion of Wipro, the IT hub in the Newtown Rajarhat area now encompasses more than 300 acres of land,” said state IT secretary Siddharth.

Three months back, the state government had to shelve the proposed township projects at Rajarhat after it cancelled land allotments to IT companies like Infosys and Wipro following allegations that land had been “forcibly” taken from locals.

The chief minister later said the government was ready to offer 45-acre each to Wipro and Infosys for starting new centres.

Wipro then wrote to the government Oct 30, seeking land at concessional price, following which it was offered the 50-acre plot.

Thursday’s development comes at a time when the Left Front government is passing through the lowest ebb of its 32-year rule.

Not only has the Left Front lost all recent elections to the opposition parties, it has also failed to implement any of its showpiece projects so far. While the Tata Motors shifted its small car Nano plant from the state’s Singur to Sanand in Gujarat, the chemical hub to be executed by the Salim Group of Indonesia has also been a non-starter so far.

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