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Tamil Nadu seeks private partners for infrastructure projects

Staff Reporter

More than 40 IT parks in Chennai involving the private sector and totalling an area of 8.5 million square feet have been cleared under the `fast track clearance mode.' Huge demand for IT parks; bookings full even before construction has begun

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu offers a number of infrastructure projects in private-public-partnership mode, including development of minor ports, setting up of warehousing and logistics facilities and construction of information technology parks, commercial complexes and residential townships.

Showcasing them to a business delegation from Singapore here, M. Velmurugan, Director, Tamil Nadu Industrial Guidance and Export Promotion Council, said the State Government was also keen on partnering with the private sector for wind power generation, developing industrial parks and special economic zones (SEZ) and desalination plants for supplying water to industries.

Of all the projects, the IT parks show tremendous demand and a huge growth potential. More than 40 IT parks in Chennai involving the private sector and totalling 8.5 million sqft have been cleared under the `fast track clearance mode.'

While one million sqft have been built and occupied, about six million sqft would be added in 2005. ``Any IT park gets filled up even before construction. Chennai is the hot spot for IT parks,'' Mr. Velmurugan, told a luncheon meeting hosted for the 25-member delegation by the Confederation of Indian Industry, southern region, here on Friday.

Next in the list of popular projects are residential townships. While Singapore Realty is implementing an integrated township project of 6,000 dwelling units on 103 acres at Siruseri, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board is exploring the possibility of promoting such projects in the joint venture mode. He said Maraimalai Nagar and Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, offered opportunities for such township projects.

Multilevel parking bays

Mr. Velmurugan also listed six proposed multilevel car parking bays in Chennai, exploitation of space over Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) railway stations in the second phase and the SEZ at Ennore among the projects to be developed in the PPP format.

On the real estate sector in Tamil Nadu, Ramesh Nair, Associate Director of Jones Lang Le Salle, said Chennai was a frontrunner in meeting the demand for office space. Within the city, the development was moving towards the suburbs.

Vikas M. Gore, the Mission leader, said there definitely was a growing interest in India among Singapore businessmen, who were, however, cautious and conservative in taking up large projects. The CII (Tamil Nadu) Chairman, B. Santhanam, said the State offered huge opportunities for large investors in infrastructure development. ``Tamil Nadu is really open and ready for massive infrastructure development.''

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