Slogans of the Chandigarh administration to promote young Information Technology (IT) entrepreneurs seem to have fallen flat as it has failed to operationalise the Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) at Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park even three years after the completion of the centre.
The four-storey centre, built at a cost of Rs 18 crore and inaugurated by the then UT administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) in November 2009, was originally meant to provide office space at comparatively low rates to young and upcoming IT entrepreneurs, who, otherwise, couldn't afford capital investment to purchase or take on rent offices at the IT park, revealed sources. However, the project didn't take off.
The administration had foreseen EDC as a hub to provide "incubation facilities for all young Information Technology entrepreneurs, who will be given plug-n-play facilities" by providing low-cost office space to 40-45 young IT entrepreneurs. The centre has been built over 1.5 acres with 69,000 square feet of covered area.
"The project has been conceived as a transit point for the IT software export companies that are willing to come to the park, but it does not have a fully developed building of its own as yet. The project would also become a big software export centre, apart from providing readymade space to young entrepreneurs, who have bright ideas but don't have the capital to create infrastructure," reads the feature of the project, which still finds mention on the website of the Chandigarh administration.
Sadly, the dream project of the UT administration is yet to see the light of day. Civil work at the Entrepreneur Development Centre was completed in 2009 and building was declared ready to use.
However, since then the file pertaining to issues like how to use the centre and which body would be the nodal agency is shuffling between various offices of the administration.
Secretary to the department of the Information Technology Prerna Puri and IT director Tanvi Garg were not available for comment.
However, sources in the administration revealed that the administration was not yet clear on the issue of how and on what rates the office spaces should be rented out to young professionals and who would run the centre.
Sources added that the administration had already spent huge capital of Rs 9 crore on the project and a similar cost was borne by the union government under the Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities Scheme, which is meant for projects related to export promotion project.