Tech Mogul's City Plans Progressing Slowly

Plans are moving forward in India for Nano City, the planned city brainchild of Hotmail mogul Sabeer Bhatia.
August 12, 2008, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Until recently, Bhatia knew nothing about developing cities. The 39-year-old San Francisco resident is an electrical engineer by training and profession. And with a ton of cash in the bank, the last challenge he thought he would face is the hassle of navigating India's cash-under-the-table democracy, while preaching sustainable development. India, with a population of 1.12 billion, is beset with energy and infrastructure problems; most citizens don't have access to safe drinking water."

"But now - after spending $4 million of his own money and learning some hard lessons about international development - Bhatia's project could be on the brink of starting. This summer, he partnered with a major Indian developer that pledged funds to help purchase the land needed in the northern Indian state of Haryana to break ground on Nano City."

"But major hurdles remain, and the project could easily fail."

"Bhatia is aware that planned cities often fail. To avoid pitfalls, he intends to involve 'the right partners, do proper design, provide basic things that you and I take for granted here.'"

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Published on Monday, August 11, 2008 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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