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Four cities to be promoted IT destinations

Special Correspondent

Land has already been identified in Coimbatore

CHENNAI: The State Government has identified Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Hosur as Tier-II cities for being promoted as IT investment destinations, Ramesh Ram Mishra, Chairman and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), said on Friday.

Land has already been identified in Coimbatore, he said at the toping out ceremony for the first phase of the International Tech Park (ITPC), a flagship project of Ascendas, Singapore, in collaboration with the TIDCO near Taramani, here.

Mr. Mishra said the Government cleared over 40 IT parks in the private sector, totalling 8.5 million square ft. Of this, one million square ft was built and occupied. Another 13 private parks in a built-up area of 2.19 million square ft were under construction in Chennai.

The Government was also establishing the Tamil Nadu State Wide Area Network (TNSWAN), the backbone for government applications of data, voice, video and Internet. This was an e-governance initiative.

Cedric Foo, Singapore's Minister for Defence and National Development, said more than physical space, the International Tech Park would set new benchmarks for an international lifestyle. One area in which Singapore could contribute to India's development was urban and housing development. Representatives from 30-odd private sector companies had come along with him to explore the possibility of industrial cooperation with India.

The Industries Minister, Nainar Nagenthran, said the demand for world-class infrastructure was on the rise, and Ascendas would give a fillip to Chennai's development as the locale of choice for expanding companies. The tech park was the first step towards providing a quality business infrastructure in Tamil Nadu, through public-private partnership.

The Ascendas president and CEO, Chong Siak Ching, said the ITPC would encompass the best features of IT park and would raise the bar for business space in the State.

The first state-of-the-art software park will provide 1.5 million square ft over three phases. The first phase is expected to generate 7,000 jobs.

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