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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept. 23

THE Group of Technopark Companies (GTECH) has sought the State Government's support in fulfilling the need for direct air links from Thiruvananthapuram to Bangalore and Chennai.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, the GTECH said that a large number of IT companies from the Technopark campus have business relationships with Bangalore and Chennai. But cost-effective options of travel to these places are not available.

The GTECH drew the State Government's attention to the fact that there has been a tremendous increase in passenger traffic to Bangalore and Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram. Confirmed bookings are hard to come by, necessitating additional travel days.

Existing flight schedules are not suitable because they do not allow the business traveller to run up to these destinations, finish business and get back home during the course of one working day.

This necessitates extended travel itineraries running into three days at times for an appointment that lasts no more than a few hours, if not minutes. This makes for unnecessarily expensive business plans.

Currently, there are at least 70 companies based in Technopark employing some 10,000 techies. These numbers are expected to jump 3-4 times in the next three years with the additional investments already committed by the State Government for expanding infrastructure at the facility.

The GTECH is convinced that additional capacity being developed will be used up in due course. On its part, the group promised all support to the Government in realising the action plan it has laid out for Technopark.

GTECH suggested that the State Government invite low-cost private carriers such as Air Deccan, Air-One and Kingfisher to cater to the short-haul services to link Thiruvananthapuram with the neighbouring States. This would present cost-effective travel options not just for the business traveller but also for families having their kin employed in the IT centres outside of the State.

Among the signatories to the memorandum are Mr Sunil Gupta of IVL India; Mr Rama Rao of Gemini Systems; Mr Satish Babu of InApp Technologies; Mr Rakesh Gupta of Allianz Cornhill India; and Mr Ajit Nambissan of Case Consult.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 24, 2005)
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