Sankar Radhakrishnan

Thiruvananthapuram, June 9 The Government of Kerala has decided to adopt a multiple-developer strategy for setting up the 500-acre Technocity IT township near Thiruvananthapuram.

Working with multiple developers will make it possible to spread the risks associated with the project and will also encourage healthy competition among the developers, said Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary-IT, Government of Kerala. This approach will help ensure that the entire project is not held up if one developer runs into any delays, he told Business Line.

The investment in land and basic infrastructure alone is expected to be around Rs 1,500 crore, Dr Ajay Kumar said. When completed, the Technocity is expected to employ around 1.5 lakh people in the IT and ITES sectors, he added. The space used by the IT and ITES companies will have special economic zone status.

According to the project’s master plan that is being finalised, developers can bid for parcels of land based on their requirements, said Mr N. Radhakrishnan Nair, Director, Kerala State Information Technology Infra- structure Ltd. Currently, the plan is to offer parcels of land that are smaller than 50 acres; parcels that vary in size from 50 to 100 acres; and parcels of land that are more than 100 acres, he explained.

Technopark model

Around 50 acres of land in Technocity will be retained for the expansion of the existing Technopark, Mr Nair said. This land will be developed with the model used to develop Technopark, he added.

Land in Technocity has also been set aside for residential purposes, an education hub and a commercial zone with hotels, multiplexes and other retail space. Approximately 25 acres has been earmarked for social amenities such as a hospital and a club.

Common infrastructure for the project will be developed by the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd. This company will also form special purpose vehicles (SPV) with each of the selected developers and will have a stake of up to 26 per cent in each such SPV.

Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd is currently acquiring land for Technocity and is also evaluating potential developers through a ‘request for qualification’ process.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 10, 2008)
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