The Centre appears to have shelved the iconic IT tower at the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone, Duvvada, for which Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman had laid the foundation stone nearly three years ago.
Highly reliable sources told The Hindu the Centre had sanctioned ₹40 crore for the ground plus five-floor level 4 super-structure. Since the fund sanctioned under a particular scheme had lapsed, it was not showing interest in releasing it again. Two floors were proposed to be developed as dedicated data recovery facility for companies stationed at various places in the world as bank locker system with one lakh square feet of built-up area. The super-structure was designed to be cyclone/storm and hacker-resistant keeping in view the global experiences.
An MP belonging to the ruling BJP confirmed that the project would not take off.
Incidentally, while there was little progress with regard to the tower proposed at Siripuram jointly by the Software Technology Parks of India and the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority, the State government had shelved the Signature Tower project at Rushikonda following poor response to find out a BOT partner with an investment of ₹500 crore to create one million square feet in two super-structures.
Now the government is exploring alternative options to make use of the 21 acres it had acquired from an IT company for its failure to adhering to the conditions laid down at the time of allotment. The Boeing plane-shaped project at Siripuram, which hit a roadblock following insistence by the VUDA on entrusting the job of construction to it, is expected to take off with the understanding that the construction work would be allotted to the Central Public Works Department.
The then Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had laid the stone for the project early last year. Ground plus eight floor incubation domain-specific tower would come up in 1.2 acres allotted by the VUDA at Siripuram with an investment of ₹62.7 crore.