VIJAYAWADA: To foster the economic development, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to set up Knowledge Economy Zone (KEZ) in collaboration with the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) for Knowledge Driven Economic Development.
Announcing this on the second day of the Collectors’ Conference here on Tuesday, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that the first KEZ will be set up in the new capital city Amaravati. The first phase of the KEZ, which is expected to be completed in 2017, will be in 10 acres of land and by 2019 will be extended to 100 acres in a phased manner.
Officials were asked to take the help of World Economic Forum (WEF) and Harvard University in setting up the KEZ. The Chief Minister also directed the district collectors to prepare plans for setting up such KEZs in their respective districts. He directed the officials to prepare proposals for setting up Towers Corporation as a joint venture of the State Government and private companies in one week time. He said state will have 49 percent share in the Towers Corporation.
Taking stock of the status of the Fiber Grid works in the state, he explained that main objective of the Fiber Grid is to provide Internet, telephone, cable TV though a single line.
He said he wanted to provide a bandwidth faster than 10 MBPS, which is the current average international bandwidth at affordable cost. The average bandwidth in India at present is 2.5 MBPS.
Officials informed him that by June, 23000 km long fiber optic cable would be laid in the state benefiting as many as 130 lakh families. They said cable TV, Internet and telephone connection will be provided at Rs 150 per month only.
Chief Minister expressed happiness over the fiber network being completed at the cost of Rs 333 crore only, which he said is a record and exuded confidence that it will revolutionize the communication sector in the state.
He said hereafter all the government departments will use AP Fiber Grid bandwidth only.
Tourism Sector - A Money Spinner
Describing tourism sector as the potential money spinner and job creator, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asked the state officials to focus on the sector. Pointing out that the state has great tourism potential, he said even wayside amenities on national highways can bring in good profits. He said by taking advantage of the vast coastline in the state, it can emerge as a potential revenue earner. Naidu opined that main reason for backwardness of Srikakulam district, which has 193 km long coastline, was lack of proper planning. He said coastal districts should focus on beach and water tourism in a big way. He also exuded confidence that the INS Virat would emerge as a major tourist destination in the state.
Land Acquisition for Airport by March
Investments and infrastructure principal secretary Ajay Jain said the land acquisition for Gannavaram Airport expansion in Krishna district will be completed by March and tenders for the construction of the international airport at Bhogapuram of Vizianagaram district will be called for in April. He asked the collectors to ensure there are no hurdles in the way of land acquisition for airports, seaports and industrial townships. Chief Minister took the opportunity to lambast opposition parties for creating hurdles in the way of such important projects.
Expedite National Highway Works: CM
The state will have 1,205 km long new national highways and the outlay is of the order of Rs 16,500 crore. Another 1000 km of highways will be laid to connect Amaravati with Kurnool and Anantapur. The chief minister asked the district collectors to ensure those works are completed in time and asked them to take steps to ensure there are no hurdles for land acquisition for highways. R&B officials informed that detailed project report for Amaravati Outer Ring Road is ready.
Resume Lands if no Industries are Set up: CM
While asking the officials to encourage MSMEs to set up their units in the state, the Chief Minister asked the officials to resume the lands given to the industrialists, if they fail to setup the industries in time. Directing the officials to acquire lands for expansion of Atchutapuram SEZ, he took stock of the MSMEs in each district of the State.