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Slowdown effect: IT-BT Park at Pantnagar shelved

Shishir Prashant in New Delhi/Dehra Dun | February 02, 2009 12:22 IST

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Four years after its launch, an integrated IT-BT Park (Information Technology, Biotechnology Park) which was coming up in Pantnagar area of Kumoan region has been shelved by the Uttarakhand government.

Although, global slowdown is the main reason behind the move, officials said the land, which was meant for the IT-BT Park, has now been allotted to other industries for expansion purposes leaving no place for the project.

"Since there is no land left for IT-BT Park at Pantnagar, we have decided not to build it," an official said.

The IT-BT park with the state-of-the-art facilities as well as an special economic zone was proposed at 500 acres area at Pantnagar, a key industrial hub in the hill state.

The state government had roped in Ernst and Young as a marketing consultant in the project entailing an investment of Rs 150 to Rs 300 crore (Rs 1.5 to Rs 3 billion).

Hyderabad-based Ramky Infra Consulting Pvt Ltd had been given the task of project designing.

Pantnagar project was the second IT Park in the hill state after IT Park at Sahastradhara Road in Dehra Dun, which has also developed slowdown symptoms.

The shelving of the IT-BT project is being seen as a setback to the government's efforts to accord priority to the biotechnology sector.

Having released the state's first Biotechnology Policy in 2004, the government had proposed to establish world-class infrastructure in the form of a state-of-the-art Biotech Park.

Significantly, Uttarakhand is being seen as a favoured destination for biotech investments as it is endowed with a distinctly rich biodiversity (175 of the 500 species of medicinal plants found in the Indian System of Medicine), availability of quality manpower (72% literacy), large number of technical institutes Roorkee, Forest Research Institute, Herbal Research & Development, Regional centres of the National Bureau of Plant & Genetic Resources and the Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, etc.) and an expanding base of small-medium sized life sciences companies.

The existing industrial cluster in Pantnagar is home to India's leading food and natural product companies such as Dabur [Get Quote], Britannia [Get Quote] and Nestle [Get Quote].

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