Going way ahead with its plans to set up district level information technology parks across the states, the Kerala government has kick-started work on two technology parks in Kollam an Alappuzha districts.
The initiative is seen as the government’s bid to take its IT commitment to the next level. While work on the first ever ‘Water Theme’ IT Park was started at Ambalapuzha in Alappuzha district, another tech park in South Kerala is to come up at Kundara in Kolam district. Infopark, as part of hub and spoke model of IT development, is expanding its activities to Ambalapuzha, located on the National Highway 47, about 22kms from Alappuzha town. The new park will be located on about 100 acres of land in Smrithivanam, Purakkad Village, in the Ambalapuzha Taluk of which around 33 acres have been granted the Special Economic Status has been granted by the Government of India.
“The government will invest over Rs.500 crore to set up the Ambalapuzha Infopark which will create over 10,000 job opportunities. With this park, Alappuzha which has been lagging behind other regions in terms of modern industries will get a new place in the global IT map. Around 60 percent of this park will be used to set up IT companies, while 40 percent of the space will be used for Water theme park and the waterway to the park will be connected to the National Waterway-3, said state Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. According to Ajaya Kumar, Secretary-IT, said, “the event marks the fruition of Kerala Government’s long drawn dream of setting up IT parks in all districts in Kerala. The work for Ambalapuzha Infopark is expected to commence by April 2009 where facilities such as wind mills, Reverse Osmosis for treatment of brackish water will be made available and also include educational and training institutions, marina, entertainment and retail IT services, health centres, hospitals and residential apartments.”
Siddhartha Bhattacharya, CEO Infopark and Technopark, said, “Ambalapuzha Infopark is planned to be developed as the first ‘water theme’ based IT Park with immense untapped potential for backwater tourism with resort based leisure amenities thus working towards promoting IT and Tourism hand in hand and calling it the IT Venice of the East. Islands will be formed with interconnected roads roads and bridges, retaining the water features as such. With this park, we aim to create an ambiance extremely conducive for professionals to work in a totally stress-free environment and in complete sync with nature. ”
Meanwhile, the foundation stone for the district level IT Park at Kundara in Kollam will come up, located 63 km from the capital city. The new park will be located in about 42 acres of prime property near scenic Ashtamudi lake for which Special Economic Status has been granted by the Government of India. Technopark Kollam will initially offer 100,000 sq.ft of built-up space with plug and play infrastructure and incubation facilities and fully developed plots of various starting from 2 acres to 5 acres. About 2.5 million sq ft built up area is planned which is expected to offer over 20,000 direct employment opportunities. With an investment of Rs 1, 000 crores and over Rs.1,200 crores export envisaged, the first phase of built-up space is expected to be ready by mid 2010.
By setting up district level parks, the state aims at tapping the advantage of uniform talent distribution, infrastructure and supporting IT platforms and digital exchanges, excellent infrastructure availability and back-up support.