The Information Technology (IT) Park at Ilandaikulam in Madurai city, which was developed by Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT), was inaugurated way back in February 2011. After almost two-and-half years of its inauguration, the building is yet to be occupied by IT companies. Though several efforts were taken by the ELCOT officials, they haven't yielded any result yet.
Various IT companies in the city were demanding the ELCOT officials to reduce the rental price. However, they didn't turn up even after the rent was decreased citing the economic slowdown and unhealthy industry condition as reasons. Officials from ELCOT said that so far only two IT companies had applied to occupy the constructed area, which got approved subsequently. Moreover, around 6,000 sq ft of the total constructed area, which is 40,000 sq ft, has only been occupied till now. As far as open area is concerned, only nine acres have been acquired by the companies of the total available open area which is 28.91 acres. Had all the available spaces were occupied by the companies from the time it was launched, the department would have earned at least Rs2.5 crore by now, officials estimated. The officials also said that the facilities in the two-storey buildings, including uninterrupted power supply, lift, ample space for two-wheeler and four-wheeler parking and broad band connections, have also not attracted the IT companies.
There are around 100 small and medium-sized IT companies in Madurai, of which around 60 companies have joined as a group called Software Industries Development Association of South Tamil Nadu (SIDA).
Talking about the scenario, V K Sampath Kumar, the business development manager of the IT Park in Madurai, said, "Software companies had been requesting ELCOT to reduce the rental amount. Subsequently, the rental amount was reduced from Rs23 to Rs15 per sq ft after several rounds of talks. However, the companies have not been showing any interest in occupying the place so far. The entire constructed area, including the furnished places, is in ready to occupy condition."
Talking about their problems, the members of SIDA said that the industry is not robust yet. They are still reeling under the financial crunch. Although there are around 100 start-up and mid-sized companies in Madurai, only a handful of companies have been earning good profit. Others are still suffering and cannot cope up with the present economic situation. They have just proposed to work as a consortium. When the economic situation eases, they may occupy, they opined.
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