Akhilesh Yadav government had announced to set up an IT city and an information technology (IT) parks in Lucknow. This was followed with the announcement of the new IT policy that aimed at promoting cities and towns as emerging Tier-II and -III IT destinations. However, the policy is yet to show results, though there have been some developments with regard to the proposed park in Lucknow. With an estimated cost of Rs 285 crore, it is proposed to be developed on 1,30,000 square metres near the airport. Recently, Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani had stressed the need for encouraging private companies to invest in the state and participate in bidding. “The guidelines would also seek to standardise the documents and sanctions needed to set up parks,” UP Electronics Managing Director Prabhat Mittal said.
The city of Nawabs is all set to become the home of state-of-the-art IT parks. With Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announcing his government’s plans to this effect, the people of Uttar Pradesh and especially those of the capital have ample reasons to rejoice.
Arguably, the biggest beneficiary of any IT park is the student community. The various colleges located in and around Lucknow churn out skilled professionals numbering thousands every year. With IT firms in the vicinity, students will no longer have to look elsewhere for employment. Moreover, since each IT job is believed to create 3 indirect jobs, the parks would benefit people from all sections of the society, and not just the IT junta.
It is no accident that the leading technology companies and other IT/ITES/BPO firms are located in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune. These cities have successfully attracted the IT industry by creating a suitable climate that allows such firms to flourish. Now, it is Lucknow’s turn to play host to the big guns of the IT sphere. With an IT park in place, the companies wouldn’t think twice before setting shop in Lucknow. This is owing to the fact that IT is a labour-intensive sector and with premier institutes like IIM Lucknow and IIT Kanpur in the region, along with many other engineering and management institutes, the companies would have little trouble acquiring talent.
Setting up IT parks and embracing development wholeheartedly would go a long way in improving the government’s image in the minds of the people. The people of Uttar Pradesh have grown tired of caste-based vote bank politics. They want to break free of these bonds and reap the fruits of development. By genuinely pursuing reformist policies, the government would set an example for future governments to follow. Also, it would send out a positive signal to companies across industries that Uttar Pradesh should be their place of choice for setting up new facilities.
The IT parks would also bring with them, the need for better infrastructure. Improved civic amenities would be imperative for the IT parks to attract employers and employees alike. One can expect modern facilities such as multi-speciality hospitals, sprawling residential complexes and top-notch educational institutes to spring up all over the city once the parks become operational. In fact, if all goes as per the usual trend, it won’t be long before Lucknow has its own metro.
Indeed, these IT parks would mark the beginning of a new chapter in Lucknow’s rich history. However, the city needs to tread this path of rapid development with great caution. It should learn from cities that have already passed this stage and try not to repeat their mistakes. Most importantly, the developmental activities should be aimed at inclusive growth. With proper planning, there should be no stopping Lucknow from becoming a balanced metropolis.