S.M. Krishna has promised to establish it by April, says Narayanasamy

The Union Territory has been selected as one of the destinations for establishing a mini Passport Service Kendra (PSK). In a written communication to the Union Minister of State for Planning, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture, V. Narayanasamy, the External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, has informed of his Ministry's decision to establish a mini PSK at Puducherry shortly.

Mr. Krishna, in reply to a letter written by Mr. Narayanasamy seeking a passport office, said the passport application collection centre here would be converted into a mini PSK, which would cater for residents of the Puducherry and Karaikal regions.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mr. Narayanasamy said that Mr. Krishna had promised to establish the PSK by April. It was a long pending demand of the Union Territory with the Centre, he said, adding that once the office was established people need not travel to Chennai to get passports.

Mr. Narayanasamy also informed that 3-G service would be launched in Puducherry on April 4. Union Minister for Telecommunications and Information Technology A. Raja would launch the service at a function.

Mr. Raja would also lay the stone for setting up an Information Technology park in an area of 25 acres at Kalapet on April 4. Of the total investment of Rs. 100 crore, the Union government would under take 75 per cent of the project cost, the Minister said. The Union Territory's role was to acquire land and, for the time being, 10 acres would be handed over for development of the park.

On the same day, he would witness signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the ICT, a centrally-sponsored institute, and territorial administration to provide continuous advanced computer training to school teachers.

Nokia had evinced interest in establishing its component manufacturing unit in Puducherry. Similarly, a French company involved in chip manufacturing also developed interest in setting up a plant here. Talks would be held with the two companies shortly, Mr. Narayanasamy said.

When asked to comment on the criticism that the plan size of Rs. 2,500 crore for the fiscal 2010-11 was meagre, he said for a population of more than 10 lakh, it was a “sizable allocation.”