Suck Goes to High-Tech India

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Basically a decently-built bandwidth-laden office complex six kilometers northwest of downtown, HTC has been filling up fast with big software firms' Andhran outposts. It is the envy of Bangalore, if only because it has been visited by President of the United States Bill Clinton — a saintly capitalist blessing that bestowed the highest possible status on HTC and, by extention, on the H'bad Internet industry.

HTC's round glass tower looms over a dusty plain otherwise covered in patchy grass and big rocks. In fact, a few years ago, nothing was here but the boulders; a few years more and there will be a dozen or more shiny new office blocks, all loaded with fiberoptics and Mensa-level codewriters. Of course the two-lane road into the complex from the airport will have to be widened, but that would hardly be a big deal in the context of Naidu's plan to build a brand-new airport to serve what would within months be an officially separate city called Cyberabad. Yes. That will be its legal name.


What I hadn't understood until Chowdary explained it was that the rioting that shut down Hyderabad the previous week related directly to these plans. (The state has to generate some revenue before it can make these infrastructure investments, he said; cutting the power tariff — which will encourage more rational use of precious electricity and maybe even decrease the number of Hyderabad's power outages — is the most sensible way of doing that.) To realize the Cyberabadi dream — a synthetic, gleaming city remote from the crowded squalor of downtown Hyderabad, designed to tend to the specific needs of the IT industry — the rest of the state, everyone, will literally pay a price.

The result, ostensibly, will benefit Andhra Pradesh with huge job creation and a corpulent new tax base. Naidu is going to drag Andhra into the new century, but first there will be a lot of kicking and screaming, not to mention fatal shootings.


Such development may indeed be the best thing for the long-term health of the region's economy, but on the way there some folks are going to suffer, and others — notably, real estate developers — are going to get rich. Shades of Chinatown.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Suck
Goes to India

Contents
Let's Go Bangalore!
E-Commerce, Mom and Pop-Style
The Accidental Feminist
Money Changes Everything
The Billionaire Socialist
Those Crazy Kids and Their Cult
From Hyderbad to Worse
Masterbuilders on the March!

 
 

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