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Models for Tier II cities discussed

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Tech drive
MoU signed with Tidel Park authorities to build about 1 million sq.ft of IT parks in each of the five tier-II cities.
Plan for Hosur includes developing about 175 km of optical fibre cable network and developing about 200 acres identified about 42 km from Bangalore airport.

Chennai , Sept. 10

Models of developing tier-II cities in Tamil Nadu to cater to the growing IT market were discussed at Connect 2006. The cities considered were Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Salem, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Hosur.

Mr Aditya Sapru, Partner, Frost and Sullivan, said Tiruchi and Coimbatore could be developed as `Centres of Excellence', while Salem, Madurai and Tirunelveli could be developed as clusters.

`Centres of Excellence' would have domain expertise and not rely on other cities for their growth. Clusters, on the other hand, would consist of multiple domain specialisations and depend on skills and information from other cities.

"The State Government must consider developing a corridor connecting Madurai, Coimbatore and Hosur," said Mr Sapru.

Consortium approach

Ms R.Rajalakshmi, Director, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), said a consortium approach involving industry and academia would help develop tier-II cities.

She gave the example of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between STPI and universities in Namakkal. "The IT industry relies on young graduates and such tie-ups provide local manpower. STPI is planning two more such consortia by March 2007," she said.

Through this consortia model, a transmission tower is provided in the college/university campus that is accessed by IT companies. This leads to information sharing and training between the academia and the industry.

Infrastructure building

Mr Sekar Ponniah, Managing Director of Tirunelveli based-Global Software Solutions (TVL) Private Ltd, said Nasscom could help companies located in tier-II cities find partners from foreign countries.

Mr C. Umashankar, Managing Director, ELCOT, shared the progress in infrastructure building in tier-II cities. He said an MoU had been signed with Tidel Park authorities to build about 1 million sq.ft. of IT parks in each of the five tier-II cities (except Hosur).

About 27 acres in Coimbatore would be annexed with the existing IT park there and another 400 acres of land had been identified in another part of the city.

About 220 acres had been identified within the Salem city limits on the expressway. "We have got offers from companies for developing this space," he said.

About 280 acres had been identified opposite to Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, and another 27 acres was being considered.

About 1,400 acres had been identified near Tiruchi and another 50 acres near the Tiruchi airport.

Plan for Hosur

Dr C. Chandramouli, IT secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, said an aggressive plan for Hosur would be unveiled over the next few months.

This includes developing about 175 km of optical fibre cable network and developing about 200 acres of land identified about 42 km from Bangalore airport.

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