India’s 1st data centre park to come up in Navi Mumbai

The country’s first data centre park will come up on a 600-acre of land next to Taloja industrial estate in Navi Mumbai, owned by the MIDC. “Mumbai has the first mover advantage [over Chennai] and an opportunity to establish itself as yet another global data centre capital, similar to Singapore or Virginia in the US,” MIDC CEO P Anbalagan said.

Based on the 2018 data centre cost index released by Turner & Townsend (2019), Chennai and Mumbai are the two top locations for core data centres with a significant cost advantage. While Chennai comes at number one poition with a mere $3.8 per watt, Mumbai is a close second with $4.0 per watt. But Mumbai has several advantages including better connectivity with 10 submarine telecom cables landings as compared to the six to Chennai.

The number of internet subscribers in India is increasing rapidly because of a combination of factors including drop in cost of mobile broadband and proliferation of inexpensive smartphones. This data is currently carried through sub-sea cables and stored in data centers around the world. But India’s footprint in data centres is miniscule—less than 2% of the global capacity. Also, no core data centre has been installed in India due to a lack in quality infrastructure with reliable power though edge data centres, that are small-scale and located close to business units, are already operational here.

Anbalagan said the first phase involves an investment of Rs.30,000 crore, half of which is FDI. The park will be built on 150 acres of land and the plot allotment is expected to start in January 2020. Phase-II of the park at Khalapur, where MIDC also owns land, will be even bigger, Anbalagan said. It will be on 500 of the total 2,000 acres of land.

A recent Parliament bill makes it necessary to have data originating in India to be stored within the country.

An assessment paper study by MIDC stated: “Global trends in data localization and privacy are also being reflected in India through the new incountry data residency regulations wherein the Supreme Court declared privacy as a fundamental right and the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee released its first draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill on July 27, 2018. Once the Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 gets enacted, the entire data storage volume generated in India will reside within Indian shores and will also be processed and analysed within Indian precincts.”

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