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Wednesday, Aug 31, 2005
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Photo: N. Sridharan
IT HUB: An information technology centre under construction at Siruseri on Old Mahabalipuram Road.
CHENNAI: : There appears to be some activity or the other all along what will become the IT Corridor of Chennai Old Mahabalipuram Road.
On the first stretch from Madhya Kailash, road laying work is in full swing. Beyond that, shells of half demolished buildings dot the road, condition of which is far from inviting.
Far away from the bustle, IT majors and new BPOs are busy getting their new, plush offices ready at the Siruseri park being developed by the State Government and its agencies.
Tata Consultancy Services is all set to put up what promises to be its largest establishment yet to employ 25,000 people. Cognizant too is developing a unit in the park, along with a handful of IT firms.
Elsewhere, a Singapore-based company has taken up a major housing project that could provide roofs to 1,200 families of executives who will be working in these elite offices.
But two major concerns of most of these companies relate to the expressway and housing. Though Government agencies and construction contractors have assured them that most of the IT corridor would be ready by December or January, they are worried about land acquisition on the second and larger stretch of the six-lane highway.
Considering that at least 2,00,000 jobs may be generated in this corridor over the next 12 to 18 months, they do not know where these people will be housed and how many more buses need to be put on the roads. Already, hundreds of buses take students to and from a clutch of engineering colleges on the route.
Official sources say it is for the companies to plan their course of action, and the master plan provides for enough housing projects.
They would like to see more housing projects off the highway so that the number of buses to be operated can be reduced. Perhaps, there is need for greater coordination to ensure that everything falls into place.
The planners are expecting many of the IT companies located in the heart of the city to move out to the corridor when it is ready. Right now, they are scattered in different parts of the city, giving rise to the growth of several "services" around them.
In particular, a few restaurants and coffee shops come up in the vicinity, virtually providing round-the-clock service to software engineers and other employees.
In the new corridor, a whole range of "services" can be provided, including hotels, leisure activities, sports and drive-in restaurants.
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