“You create too many graphics, Mr Naidu” laughed off the non believers. This was 1998. There was unemployment everywhere. Avenues were super limited, with skills exceeding the prevailing job market. There was a great instability with the economic dynamics. Precisely the time frame when Mr Chandrababu Naidu was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the then united Andhra Pradesh. In the mist of unbelievable parities, sprung an idea called the Hi Tech City.
CM’s so called imaginary graphic was simply planned with tactical countermeasures – greater Hyderabad which will soon become a ‘Cyberabad’ of limitless opportunities. There was a loud laughter in the AP Secretariat. People felt greatly embarrassed themselves with CM’s almost impossible idea. He is day dreaming, said some, while others thought that he was way over himself. Mr Naidu looked above at the horizon, doing complete justice to his own tall frame. The graphics were possible, and slowly started becoming real.
The Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consulting City, abbreviated at HiTECH City has been constructed as a technology township during CBN’s regimen as Hyderabad’s CM. The project was commissioned with L &T, and was constructed by way of its special purpose vehicle, L &T Hi Tech City Limited. The project which is now spread over 30 acres of land (and still growing as part of future initiatives) was Naidu’s vision to develop IT sector in the state. What started as a phase wise manner was often subjected to ridicule and disbelief, not to forget strong opposition. 14 years down the line, the HITECH City continues to be a major source of tax income to the country’s economy, not to forget primary hub of employment.
The project was heavily criticized for its non achievable scales and goals put in place by the CM. The Madhapur village was cut to size, inviting more complaints from the locals with heavy noises in the form of exploding of rocks and making of better roads. The state government continued with the mission in the wake of frequent roadblocks coming from several angles. The result started showing two years after, when the real investments started pouring in.
After major players like General Electric and Motorola started setting their shop floors in the swanky data center seaters, people started understanding Naidu’s vision in totality. There was no looking back from there on. Major players across the sectors in IT, Manufacturing, Pharmacy and Engineering started thronging the upgraded Cyberabad, causing stress to the then pioneer called Electronic City of Bengaluru. Gurgaon and the rest followed suit, aping similar set ups, but Hyderabad continues to be a top line hub that attracts massive businesses. All thanks to one man’s brain child called the Hi Tech.
Hi Tech City was constructed keeping high standards in mind, and continues to nurture and uplift middle class income and livelihood standards in the present state of Telangana.
Call it the circle of life or fate, Mr Naidu’s jinx with the cynics continues till date. We can call this the good jinx, as it had worked heavily in his favor in the last scenario. Investors and businessmen from far east now express interest in Amaravati. Case studies and proven administration are now playing a major role in making things happen, with sole brand name making an impact.
The new secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati is just the beginning of the game. Cynicism has come back hitting on the governance one more time. It is a Dejavu of sorts for Mr Naidu – same noise, similar opposition and the very identical roadblocks with mindsets. The good tidings have begun, clearly.