3 years on, IT City project fails to take off in Mohali
Project was touted as an engine of employment with 40,000 expected IT jobs; industry heads allotted land question state agencies for delay in civic developmentpunjab Updated: Jul 07, 2017 13:45 IST
Spread over 1,600 acres, Mohali’s IT city project near International Airport terminal in Sector 83 was launched by previous Akali government in 2014 with much fanfare. Three years later, the land is brazen as only a handful of 32 companies, who were allotted land at the beginning of the project, have begun construction.
The project was to be a new employment growth engine for the region in information technology sector. Besides, it was linked with housing and commercial development.
Raman Aggarwal, chief executive officer, Aeren IT solution said,“The industry should not be blamed for delay in construction as we were not provided basic amenities like roads, sewerage, electricity on time. These essentials are important factors in building confidence among the investors.” Aeren IT solution has its operations in Chandigarh IT Park and is also allotted half an acre plot in Mohali IT city.
Aggarwal, who also heads newly-formed association of IT companies allotted land in Mohali IT city, said even now different civic works are at different stages of completion. The laying of optical fibre wires for internet connectivity, which is the most fundamental requirement of the industry, is yet to be done. “There’s no point being stuck up with the investment, when majority of the companies eyeing business here are small and medium range companies and can’t bear operational cost of unproductive premises. We need a strong holding hand of the state agencies,” he said.
- Total area: 1,600 acre
- Land reserved for IT Sector: 400 acre
- Number of companies allotted land : 32, plus 14 last month
- Biggest plot: Infosys (50 acre)
‘40,000 jobs possible but need a clear roadmap’
As per the original plan, the aim of the IT city is to produce at least 40,000 jobs. Krishan Kumar Gupta, director of One world technologies Pvt. Ltd, who currently operates from rented place in Chandigarh IT park and is one of the allottees, said, “The employment generation is possible here but if the state government comes up with a roadmap in terms of overall infrastructure development of the area.”
“Apart from roads or sewerage, we need assurance of timely start of public transportation and other general facilities like public parking, shops and market. We are a staff-based industry and can’t survive without subsidiary facilities,” he said.
Another IT company head says that security arrangement is another vital aspect. “We will have a lot of woman employees working from here. The IT city must have a police station and dedicated public transportation connectivity,” he said.
President of Mohali Industry and Commerce Association, Nikhil Saraf, said state agencies never had the intent to promote IT industry here. “If such was the case then why IT cluster in industrial area here is bereft of basic amenities?” he questioned.
“Our basic development is towards completion stage now. We will soon ask the companies, already allotted plots here, to begin the construction. The letter of intent for allotment of residential plot holders are also being issued,” said Ravi Bhagat, chief administrator, GMADA.