Recalling how the IT Park at Hinjewadi was set up in the late 1990s, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Saturday he had managed to convince local leaders to make way for the then proposed IT (information technology) park instead of a cooperative sugar factory that was to come up at the location for which a foundation stone was also laid.
Pawar, who attended an event along with former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and state industries minister Subhash Desai to inaugurate a C-DAC training centre of SunBeam Institute of Information Technology, said as Pune emerged as an IT hub, it gave jobs to lakhs of youngsters.
“A sugar factory was to come up at this location… The office-bearers of the cooperative had invited me to lay the foundation stone. Nanasaheb Navale was the chairman of the society. By the time I finished my speech as the chief guest, the members of the society got angry when I said the factory won’t come up here despite laying the foundation stone,” Pawar said.
He added that he then convinced leaders that the government had planned to set up an IT park and Hinjewadi was the most suitable land for the purpose.
He said the Maval farmers got compensatory land elsewhere for the factory which came up and was operated successfully. “Today, Pune is among the cities that are known in India for its IT industry along with Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Lakhs of youngsters are earning a livelihood in Hinjewadi. More people are working in Magarpatta and Kharadi IT companies,” said Pawar.