The first phase of the Infopark at Pallipuram, Cherthala, near here, is nearing completion and is expected to be commissioned by January.

A review meeting convened by District Collector P. Venugopal to sort out land acquisition-related issues and consequent stoppage of work was informed by the Infopark authorities that once work resumed, the first phase would be ready for commissioning by January.

Work on the 66 acre-site, about 10 km from the National Highway-47 at Cherthala, was held up after three families refused to vacate their land that had already been taken over by the government. The entire land was acquired from 160 families, who were given 10 cents each at other spots. While the other families moved over, three refused to budge.

As a result, work on an electricity sub-station, a compound wall, among others, came to a standstill. With Mr. Venugopal taking the initiative to see that work resumed, the three families were called for a discussion after which they relented.

The flooring work was likely to be over by December, officials said. They said the first phase, which would house the software complex and the BPO complex, was expected to see nearly 80 per cent of the jobs there reserved for local candidates. Procedures to attract investors were on, they said.

Sixty of the 66 acres at Pallipuram has been notified as a Special Economic Zone. The Infopark here will have a total built-up area of 2.5 million sq ft and is expected to generate nearly 20,000 job opportunities. The investment is pegged at Rs.1,000 crore and exports worth Rs.1,200 crore are expected once the park is fully functional.

Construction work at the Ambalapuzha Infopark is progressing. Infopark CEO Siddhartha Bhattacharya spoke.

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