The Telangana government is pushing for investment in the Information Technology (IT) sector, eyeing tier-two cities in the state -- Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Khammam.
Earlier this week, K Tarakarama Rao (KTR), state Minister for Industry and Commerce, IT inaugurated new centres of IT companies, Tech Mahindra and Cyient in Warangal, the state's second biggest city after Hyderabad.
Speaking at the event, KTR said, “Setting up of Tech Mahindra in Warangal is merely a beginning for expansion of IT sector into tier-2 cities of Telangana."
He further added "We are committed and confident enough to expand IT sector in all tier-2 cities like Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Khammam and Mahbubnagar this year itself."
With this significant development, Telangana's IT sector is hoping to expand beyond the periphery of Hyderabad.
Speaking to TNM, Kakatiya Urban Development Authority (KUDA) Secretary Muralidhar Rao Sampelly said, "Warangal's suburbs, where the IT firms have come up, have rapid transport connectivity with Hyderabad, which will cater to the needs of human resources and operations. Main sectors such as education and health are core advantages for the city. The city is going to see massive changes in the near future."
There are also efforts underway to develop the Mamnoor airport, situated near Warangal. The Telangana government also wants to equip local students by imparting skill training though the Telangana Academy of Skills and Knowledge (TASK) in all tier-2 and 3 cities.
Muralidhar Rao further said that talented human resources and industries such as textile parks are going to make the city an attractive destination for investment in the IT sector. He added that KUDA is planing Karimnagar's development, taking multiple factors into consideration in order to make the city a "potentially inclusive space" for all the sectors.
Padmanaba Reddy, Secretary of Forum for Good Governance, opined that the government’s push for the IT sector into tier-2 cities should be welcomed.
He said, "The plans for IT sector expansion should be welcomed, as they generate employment without causing pollution. In the coming 3 to 4 years, many industries will come up in Warangal and it will emerge as an alternative to Hyderabad."
Padmanabha Reddy, while stating that the accommodation will not be a problem as there will be subsequent construction of residential and commercial spaces in whichever city the firms come up in, added, "The government should not take Hyderabad as the example, given its uneven ground," suggesting that each city should have its own viable model.
He also said that Karimnagar and Nizamabad can be developed into agro-based development hubs such as paddy, turmeric and other grains, given the irrigation facilities available there.
"Karimnagar will be around 60 km from Warangal and transportation will be easy. Besides IT, if agro-based and other auxiliary industries can come up, these tier-2 cities will see a steady growth and have a good future," he added.