Over half of the overall 240 MW of data centres added nationally in the last three years have been in Mumbai or around
Major global cities like Amsterdam and Singapore are shunning any new data centres because they “suck out” power and we need to be circumspect about concentrating all the capacities in or around the financial capital, a senior industry official said on Monday. There has to be a diversification in geographical locations rather than concentrating the capacities in one city like Mumbai or Delhi or Chennai, the executive from global tech major Microsoft suggested.
“Many of the developed cities, many of the developed countries have actually stopped building data centres in those cities. Cities like Amsterdam, modern city like Ireland, extremely modern city like Singapore, they have almost stopped development of new data centres in their cities. They are sucking out entire power of that city”, Rahul Dhar, country director, data centres, for Microsoft, said at an event organised by industry lobby CII.
He said the global experience gives something to learn for India and wondered if we have a task force working on the same.
“How can we completely decongest a city like Mumbai because it (data centres) is sucking out the entire power of Mumbai or may be some other city like Chennai or New Delhi?” he questioned.
Maharashtra, up until a few years ago, was facing an acute shortage of power and it was an islanding system that saved its capital Mumbai from the wider woes of the state. Sify Technologies’ Kamal Nath, speaking at the same event said, his company set up India’s first data-centre in the Vashi railway station because of higher assurance of power supply at the site.
At present, over half of the datacentre capacity of the country is concentrated in Mumbai and estimates suggest the same contribution to continue even as the industry grows significantly owing to increased digital adoption, executives said.
To factors like cable landing, power availability and stability, dense fibre networks and supportive government policies, they attributed the high interest in the financial capital.
Nath said, over half of the overall 240 MW of data centres added nationally in the last three years have been in Mumbai or around. Pointing out that the stretch from Airoli to Mahape in Navi Mumbai is a hub, the overall capacity in Mumbai presently stands at 200 MW, and is expected to more than double to 410 MW by 2023, he said.
He also announced a slew of expansion plans his own company is undertaking to increase capacities without disclosing the investments.
Speaking at the same event, Maharashtra’s industries minister Subhash Desai welcomed the interest shown by the industry and committed the state’s support.
P Anbalagan, chief executive of Maharahstra Industrial Developmnet Corporation (MIDC) said, the state can earmark up to 250 acres in a 900 acres of land aggregated by the MIDC at Navi Mumbai’s Taloja for data centres.
He said another 200 acres in Navi Mumbai is the first step for the growth of data centres business, and also spoke about committing space near Pune and Nagpur for such facilities.
The MIDC can acquire even small tracts of land of up to 10 acres for data centres by invoking “statutory” provisions, so that the industry gets un-encumbered land, he said.
The state will be able to do more once its new policy on information technology and information technology enabled services comes in, and added that the MIDC expects a government resolution on the same in the next one month.
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