THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The much-hyped Outer Ring Road (ORR) project will soon roll out with the state government sanctioning Rs 1000 crores for land acquisition. The ORR, which is crucial for the comprehensive and planned development of the capital city, moots the construction of a 78.880km-long four-lane road from Vizhinjam to Navayikulam along the eastern side of the city.
The ORR project under the CRDP II got in-principle approval from the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways in 2018. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) approved its execution under ‘Bharatmala Paryojana’. The project is estimated at Rs 4500 crore. The state will bear 50 per cent of the land acquisition cost (Rs 1000 crore). This has been sanctioned under KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board).
Hyderabad based L & T Infrastructure Engineering will be the consultant for the project. The plan is to set up massive network knowledge hubs, industrial parks, amusement centres and townships in 10,000 acres of land on either road. The government is expecting an investment of `25,000 crores for the project that is expected to genertae 2.5 lakh direct job opportunities. The Outer Area Growth Corridor is one of the key projects under CRDP II.
IT experts laud internship and stipend programme
The state budget has announced I20 crore for creating capacity building and skill development of IT students. Secretary of GTech (Group of Technology Companies) Binu Jacob lauded the efforts of the state government.
“The real development in the IT sector happens when we create more job opportunities. Unfortunately, in the past 30 years, we could create only 1.5 lakh job opportunities at Technopark. This has to change and we need to enable the students through internships and make them industry ready. In the next five years, the IT sector is going to witness exponential growth and we need to build more quality resources and the internship programme would be a great step forward,” said Binu Jacob.
He said the IT industry is generating around Rs 1,200 crore in tax revenue per annum currently and doubling the employment opportunities would help the government double this revenue.
“It’s high time the state government branded Kerala IT and efforts should be taken to promote Kerala IT globally so that more people come here and invest,” said Binu Jacob.
As part of the programme, the government plans to give a monthly stipend of Rs 5,000 each for 5,000 IT students doing internships in the sector. According to experts, Kerala should reduce IT space rentals to attract more companies. Vishnu V Nair, CEO of GTech, said being a Tier-3 city, the IT space rentals is on a bit higher side compared to Tier-1 cities like Bengaluru. GTech has urged the government to reduce the rent rate by 10% in the next 24 months.
“Connectivity is another issue discouraging investors from opting for Thiruvananthapuram. We have held discussions with the airport authorities and they have promised to improve connectivity soon,” said Vishnu Nair.