R.K. Radhakrishnan

MoU signed for Rs. 3,000-crore third Tidel Park

Tatas to consider setting up car making unit

CHENNAI: A third Tidel Park will come up here in the next two years. The Rs.3,000-crore Information Technology park that will come up on an area of 25.27 acres opposite the present Tidel Park will be a joint venture between Tata Realty, the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) and Indian Hotels Company Limited.

A Memorandum of Understanding to set up the park and associated facilities was signed here on Monday between two Tata group companies and TIDCO, in the presence of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

At the meeting organised at the Secretariat to sign the MoU, Tata Realty and Infrastructure president R.K. Krishnakumar assured the Chief Minister that the Tatas would deploy a dedicated group of senior professionals to examine the possibility of making further investments in the State in the manufacturing sector. The group would hold discussions with the Industries Department, SIPCOT and TIDCO to discuss the options, he told Mr. Karunanidhi, in response to a query from him.

Assuming the role of one seeking to sell the concept of Tamil Nadu as an investment destination — a role he has donned from the time he took over as Chief Minister in May 2006 — the Chief Minister asked Mr. Krishnakumar: “Why don’t you consider setting up a car manufacturing unit here?” He added: “The Chennai Port is the best port to export cars. You should look at Tamil Nadu.”

The Chief Minister told him that most major car manufacturers had established assembly lines in the State and that the Tatas should consider doing the same.

Mr. Krishnakumar said the Tata Group would consider the suggestion, and immediately told Mr. Karunanidhi that he would set up a group of top professionals from the group to explore opportunities in Tamil Nadu for Tata Motors and other concerns of the group.

Mr. Krishnakumar exchanged the MoU documents with S. Ramasundaram, chairman and managing director, TIDCO. The entity is expected to achieve financial closure by May 27. “Land cost forms the bulk of the investment. Once the land cost is paid we will transfer the title to them,” Mr. Ramasundaram told The Hindu. After the transfer, the process of notification from the board of approval would be sought. This was necessary to get tax exemption for civil works.

The notification was expected around June-end. The firm would work on design and CMDA approvals from then on, and the first phase of the 2.1 million sq ft of IT space was expected to be ready by end-2009.

The remaining 1.5 million sq ft would be ready by early 2011, Mr. Krishnakumar told the Chief Minister. “Make that 2010,” the Chief Minister requested him. Mr. Krishnakumar said this should be possible. When completed, the facility would house firms that employ over 55,000 professionals and support staff.

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