Rent reduction offered as incentive

It was exactly on February 19 two years ago that the city’s most ambitious project — an Information Technology park on 28.91 acres of land at Ilanthaikulam near Pandikoil in Madurai — was inaugurated. But it did not take off as expected and remains under lock and key to date.

“This time we are serious. More than four software companies have already agreed to the rent quoted by us. Their proposals would be placed soon before our Board of Directors and an in-principle approval would be granted to those companies by the end of this month,” V. K. Sampath Kumar, Business Development Manager, Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), told The Hindu on Monday.

ELCOT, a government undertaking, had constructed the IT Park at a cost of Rs. 15.99 crore. It consists of a stilt plus two floors with the ground floor meant for vehicle parking.

The rest of the two floors are spread over a total area of 64,000 square feet, of which about 50,000 sq.ft. have been earmarked as office space available on monthly rent for a minimum period of three years.

The building also boasts of 100 per cent power backup, four passenger elevators, one goods elevator and a few food parks. Initially,

ELCOT had quoted Rs. 23 per square foot as the monthly rent apart from Rs.5 per square foot towards maintenance charges.

It was also declared that the allotment would be made on first come first serve basis. But it did not find any takers for the last two years.

Hence, in order to give a push to the project, ELCOT decided to lower the rent to Rs.15 per square foot. “The decision was taken last month. A few companies approached us and agreed to accept the offer. Each one of them wanted somewhere between 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of space. If everything goes well, the park will open next month,” Mr. Kumar added.

He said that the other IT park at Vadapalanji (near Madurai Kamaraj University main campus) here was making steady progress as well.

Established at a much bigger area of 239.58 acres, here private export-oriented software companies would be provided land on lease for 99 years to construct their own buildings. Common amenities inside the park would be provided by ELCOT.

“Bangalore-based Honeywell Technology Solutions and Madurai-based Chella Software have already been allotted lands at Vadapalanji. The paper work got over recently. Both these companies might begin construction any time. The ELCOT’s Board of Directors led by the Information Technology Secretary is anxious to make things happen as soon as possible,” he said.

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