Companies that have been allotted land not showing interest

Since the economic turmoil in the U.S. and European economies and other developed countries has a direct bearing on the performance of IT sector in India, the prospects for progress of the IT Park at Navalpattu as in the case of special economic zones in other tier-II cities, is bound to be bleak in the coming years, ELCOT sources said.

When the IT Park was launched in 2010 with a built up space of 50,000 square feet, there was hope that the space would be occupied by mid-sized companies. The built-up area envisaged as an incubation centre was constructed at a cost of Rs. 14.5 crore. On its part, the ELCOT identified nine companies for allotment on 147 acres of land.

However, because of the sluggish global economy, none of the nine companies had come forward to start the process of constructing buildings. As per ELCOT norms, the companies that have been given land on lease should have started operations within two years after the date of allotment. There were no indications that any of the companies would have their own facility any time soon, the sources said.

As for the built-up space, only a small portion was under occupation by two companies providing employment to a few hundreds of people. At a time when the companies are cutting cost and scaling down employment, investment in a tier-II destination ranks low in their priority, an official said.

The only positive factor was the progress on the link road. After the AIADMK came to power in the State, the tender for creating a four-lane link road to the Tiruchi IT Park at Navalpattu from Gundur along the Tiruchi-Pudukkottai National Highway was floated. The State government had sanctioned Rs. 6.10 crore for the project, accepting ELCOT’s stand that a strong link road of international standards was a pre-requisite for attracting top-notch IT companies.

The State Highways Department took over possession of the road that was till then under the jurisdiction of Gundur and Navalpattu panchayats.

The roadwork, official sources said, would be completed within the next few months. Already nearly 4 km of one side of the four-lane road had been laid, sources added.

Once completed, the IT Park in Tiruchi could be projected as an attractive destination for IT investment owing to its proximity to the international airport. No other IT Park in a tier-II city in Tamil Nadu enjoys this advantage.