The State Government has once again urged the Center to approve an Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR), which has been designed to attract investment in the IT sector.

While the high power committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary has approved the proposed ITIR, to come up on 10,000 acres of land on the outskirts of the capital city, the project is still awaiting formal approval of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), said an official.

IT Department Secretary Ashok Kumar Meena is in touch with the Union Government in this regard, said sources.

As per estimate, the project would cost around Rs 3,700 crore of which Rs 1,750 crore is expected from the Center.

There would be a 4,300-acre processing zone to house Information Technology (IT), Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Electronics Hardware Manufacturing (EHM) and Research and Development Center.

Similarly, a proposal for setting up of Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Incubation Center is still pending with the Ministry, said sources.

A detailed project report (DPR) has been sent to the MoeitY with a cost of Rs 23 crore which will be borne by the State and Center at 50:50 ratio.

Providing high speed broadband facilities in all gram panchayats of the State is getting delayed as Phase I implementation of the Bharatnet Project in Odisha is moving at a slow pace, admit officials.

Under the Bharatnet, gram panchayats are to be connected with the capital city, district and block headquarters, for which 18 districts have been taken up under Phase I.

It will cover 3,820 GPs in 181 blocks of 18 districts and the project was to be completed by December, 2017. However, the Phase I is going considerably slow and authorities are worried over itm, said sources.

In the meantime, looking at the tardy progress of the Central PSUs, Union Government has handed over implementation of Bharatnet Phase II to OPTCL, a State PSU.

Presently, tele-density in Odisha is 81 percent as against all India coverage of 91 percent.

While mobile service is fast moving, nearly 11,000 out of 51, 353 villages are not having mobile connectivity in the State.

In the Left Wing Extremists (LWE) zones, low mobile connectivity is posing serious problem as there is virtually no data facility available in these far-flung areas, pointed out a senior official. – Daily Pioneer 



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