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IT ministry suggests infrastructure status, captive power plants for for data centres in draft policy

The new policy document also suggests that there should be a single-window, time-bound clearance system for all the approvals required to set up a data-centre park.

Written by Aashish Aryan | New Delhi | November 8, 2020 1:09:05 am
Earlier this year in August, The Indian Express had reported that the ministry was considering these proposals, which the states will be free to either follow in total or mould slightly to suit their needs. (Representational Image)

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has suggested demarcation of specific zones with necessary infrastructure such as roads, running water and electricity to set up data centre parks.

In its new policy document, the IT ministry has suggested that the central government should accord ‘infrastructure status’ to such data centre parks, bringing them on par with other crucial sectors such as railways, roadways and power. This, the ministry said in its suggestions, will help in “bringing in the benefits of availing long-term credit from domestic and international lenders at easier terms”.

The new policy document also suggests that there should be a single-window, time-bound clearance system for all the approvals required to set up a data-centre park.

Earlier this year in August, The Indian Express had reported that the ministry was considering these proposals, which the states will be free to either follow in total or mould slightly to suit their needs.

“Central and state governments shall formulate their respective schemes and guidelines detailing out fiscal and non-fiscal incentives in this sector to enable further expansion of data centres in the country,” the IT ministry suggested in the new draft policy for data centres.

Apart from these, the ministry has also proposed incentives for those data centre parks that use domestically manufactured hardware such as server and network devices, and non-IT hardware such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and cooling equipment among others.

In order to address the issues around the high consumption of power, the new draft policy has suggested that data centres be encouraged to set up their power generation units, or allow them to procure power directly from power generation companies. The use of renewable energy by such data centre parks could also be encouraged in order to cut down on their power costs, the policy suggested.

For uninterrupted internet and telecom connectivity, data centres can be given the option of establishing captive optical fibre networks, the draft policy suggested. Such data centres should however be encouraged to make use of the ‘dial-before-you-dig’ mechanism so that they can avail of existing infrastructure before setting out to create their own infrastructure.

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