|The much hyped Signature Tower project proposed to be taken up on a larger scale than the Cyber Towers of Cyberabad in Hyderabad to make it an iconic super-structure to transform Visakhapatnam as the IT capital of Andhra Pradesh has been shelved.|
The reason attributed to dropping of the project is the poor response to the global tenders floated to build the iconic tower at sea-facing Rushikonda hill in Madhurawada IT Special Economic Zone. The government had appointed American property firm Janes Long LaSalle (JLL) as the project consultant.
The project was envisaged to be taken up in two phases with a built-up area of one million sft with world-class architectural design through PPP investors under Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer basis.
Following poor response from bidders, who were asked to invest Rs.500 crore on the two-phase project, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao had also toyed with the idea of constructing the tower on beach road by demolishing old quarters of Andhra University.
When contacted, Chief Secretary and IT Advisor to Chief Minister, J.A. Chowdary confirmed change in plan and said instead of Signature Tower, they would like to construct a cluster of small buildings in 17.98 acres earmarked for Signature Tower on Hill No. 3 of Rushikonda.
He told The Hindu that the Millennium Tower, project to provide plug and play facilities for various domain-specific IT players and startups, would be fully operational by December, 2017. An investment of nearly Rs.100 crore is being made on construction of the building with three lakh sft built-up area near Sunrise Incubation Hub.
During his recent visit, IT Minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy told The Hindu that development of Visakhapatnam, which has an annual turnover of Rs.2,000 crore from IT and IT enabled services Ė the largest in AP, was on top priority of the State governmentís agenda.
Mr. Reddy said during CII Partnership Summit being held in the city on January 27 and 28, they were expecting a lot of MoUs to be signed by NRIs and big IT companies for investment in Visakhapatnam.