KTR writes to Nirmala Sitharaman against locking International Data Embassies in single location

Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao wrote a letter to the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman raising serious objections against the budget proposal of establishing the Data Embassies in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT city), Gujarat. Making a logical case, the minister detailed the huge risks involved in establishing International Data Embassies at one location that too in a State highly prone to earthquakes.

The letter also highlights the advantages that Hyderabad holds as an ideal location for data centers. Moreover, this move might pose a security threat as the proposed location is in a State sharing border with another country. The Minister suggested that the interests of the client countries should also be considered while choosing the location for the Data Embassies.

Minister KTR said that Hyderabad is in Seismic Zone-II, one of the least active seismic zones in India, which makes the city an ideal location for setting up data centers. “In contrast, GIFT city is located in Seismic Zone-III and is very close to Seismic Zone-IV, indicating that the region is at a high risk for earthquakes. Developing international data embassies in such an area presents potential risks and could have significant consequences for international relations if critical infrastructure is impacted,” KTR added.

The minister said that after due diligence, global data center majors chose Telangana to invest in setting up their large data centers. From Amazon Web Services to Microsoft Azure, the state is now home to several hyperscale and edge data centers. The Minister said that the State government launched its Data Center Policy in 2016 and offered several important incentives and approval provisions to facilitate the setting up of data centers.

Access to dual power grids, low-cost power supply and a high-speed fiber network are a few such provisions. “The overall experience of the companies which have invested in Telangana has been extremely positive. The State will be happy to provide similar support to International Data Embassies,” the minister remarked.

Further, the minister urged the Union Finance Minister to modify the budget proposal to provide them with multiple locations that would suit their data security requirements. KTR said that it would provide a level playing field for data infrastructure among the States.

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