TAMIL NADU

Hosur untapped for IT development

Dharmapuri Dec. 7. Even as talks are on about the software giant, Infosys, expressing its desire to expand its "development and customer care centre'' in Chennai, the potential for setting up a software park in the industrial town of Hosur, with its proximity to Bangalore, cheap real estate and salubrious climate, remains untapped.

For that matter, even the land earmarked for the purpose by the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu in Hosur is lying unused. Assurances of the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu that it was approached for setting up a software park, similar to Tidel Software Park in Chennai, has also failed to take shape.

Hosur is home to a variety of old economy companies ever since industrialisation commenced in 1974.

Most small and tiny industries, mainly automobile-based, depend on the needs of big companies. But owing to a slump in global economy, many closed shop.

Unofficial figures put the number of shops closing down to more than 150. Some feel that if big industries such as TVS, Ashok Leyland or Titan, do not come, Hosur's fortunes will recede further.

It is being pointed out that industrialisation in the town envisaged combining Bangalore's technology assets with Tamil Nadu's abundant power supply, manpower and real estate.

It was thought that outsourcing a portion of the work from the Electronic City in Bangalore — just 18 km from Hosur — would convert Hosur into a software hub.

Many feel that it is unfortunate that all software activities in the State get confined to Chennai. Software developers give importance to proximity of airport to the town to handle their large clientele.

In the case of Hosur, the drive from Bangalore airport takes less than 40 minutes, especially after the opening of a four-lane road. The salubrious climate is another attractive feature of the town.

Though Hosur may not be able to match the lifestyle of Chennai or Bangalore, heavy congestion in the cities, due to traffic and population, could be avoided.

Hosur could also be considered for setting up labour-intensive hardware units, exploiting the labour force in the region.

Real estates prices are cheaper and the town does not lack in telecommunications and power. With Dharmapuri stamped the most backward district in the State, it is imperative to develop Hosur.

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