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Elcot unmoved by high demand for office space at Trichy Park

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The IT Park run by Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) on the city outskirts calls is one of the most sought-after by entrepreneurs in the state with enquiries pouring in to rent its space. However, the park has no space to spare, and worse, there are no plans for expansion too.

The park was established at the Navalpattu special economic zone (SEZ) at an estimated cost of Rs 14 crores as part of the state government's efforts to promote the concept of IT parks in tier-ii cities and boost investments in cities other than Chennai. Sprawling on 123 acres, the facility has a built-in office space of 63,000 square foot which is now completely occupied by as many as seven firms including Disaster Recovery Centre (DRC) of State Data Centre. The high entrepreneurial interest was despite the poor infrastructure available in tier-ii cities and factors like traffic congestion and soaring operational cost.

Much to the worry of investors, Elcot sources said that no plans were afoot to expand the IT park facility. This at a time when entrepreneurs are looking south of the state capital for an ideal investment zone to float and expand firms in information technology (IT), information technology-enabled services (ITeS), and even in product development sectors.

Even after the office space available in the Elcot IT Park got completely occupied by IT and ITeS companies and a few outsourcing firms, the corporation was being frequently approached by investors seeking office space, sources said. "We need to lessen the financial burden of the entrepreneurs looking at Trichy as potential investment place by providing office space in SEZ as the facility would come with many perks. The state government and district administration should welcome such investors to tier-ii cities by addressing the requirements on time such as expanding the IT park," V B Jaganath, member, Trichy Intra-City Development Endeavours (TIDES), said.

Though around 63 acres of the land in the IT park has been leased by several IT/ITeS firms, sources in Elcot said that office space was not built by them in the past six years. This clearly showed that the investors were looking to rent office space at the Elcot IT park rather than build their own facility. Recently, a couple of BPO firms approached the IT park here seeking 20,000 square foot space on rent. However, as the park became completely occupied about six months ago, the BPO firms have now found office space in city limits but at a hefty rent. When contacted, a senior Elcot official in Chennai said that there were no plans to expand the existing office space in the Navalpattu IT park. "Trichy facility of Elcot remains one of the most sought facilities of ours. We were approached by quite a few firms seeking much larger office space but we do not have any vacant facility," the official added.


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