With India’s digital economy estimated to touch $1 trillion by 2025 and the Centre pushing for localising storage of data, states are vying with each other to get big ticket investments in the fledgling data storage sector.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa had said in his budget speech this year that Karnataka’s policy would “create demand and value for data centres”, with infrastructure as its aim.
The state’s IT/BT officials have been holding a series of meetings with potential investors to get a deeper sense of how the sector works and its unique needs so that they can dovetail some of these demands into the policy.
“We are aiming to announce the policy at the Bengaluru Tech Summit in November,” additional chief secretary (IT/BT, science & technology department) EV Ramana Reddy told ET. The policy will look at developing futuristic data centres, he said.
Data centres are capital intensive and they need 5-15 acres of space. Sections of stakeholders have told IT/BT officials that they would need plots in such locations that don’t interfere with flight-paths, that are free from polluting industries in the vicinity as well as flooding.
They have sought changes in the building regulations as data centre structures, including parking and boundary walls, have to be designed to meet their specific needs. They have also sought an assurance from the government on uninterrupted power supply, including how much of it they can provide from clean energy sources. Some of them sought to know whether the state has separate corridors for transmitting green energy. This demand arises from the fact that the European countries and the US have set tough green energy goals for themselves.
Some executives also pressed for assurances on prior intimation before digging up roads so that they can insulate their data centres from disruptions in data connectivity.
The data centres need to be located within a certain radius of their clients. Keeping this in mind, the government is planning to encourage them in tier II cities with some attractive sops.
States such as Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have already notified their data centre policies while Haryana’s is in the works.
Adani Group, Mantra Data Centers, NTT Netmagic and Web Werks signed up with the Karnataka government on July 15, proposing to invest about Rs 8,000 crore in data centres.