TIRUPATI: Proximity to metros like Chennai and Bangalore and the presence of numerous engineering and professional colleges, including two Universities, makes the temple town of Tirupati one of the potential places for setting up of IT and ITES companies.
But, unfortunately, there have been no steps in that direction, though from time to time, policy makers make announcements about development of IT and ITES companies and creating several jobs. Not even a single IT company has come up at the IT/ ITES Park and SEZ, set up near Renigunta in 2007, which amply speaks of the effort (or the lack of it) on the part of the government.
The prime land, just a couple of kilometres from Tirupati airport, was given for IT/ITES Park and SEZ in 2007.
Though a hoarding says the extent of the park is 147.90 acres, officials say only 72 acres were allocated for the park and the remaining land is meant for an industrial estate. Why there has been no development? The answer is that the layout for the IT/ ITES Park is yet to be approved by the government.
“There is good potential and some companies have also shown interest in setting up their units. But the layout itself is yet to be approved.
Even some industries have come forward and their proposals are still under consideration,” said an official. MP Chinta Mohan says Tirupati region, which is well connected by road, rail and air, has a vast potential for industrial development. “Being a peaceful place, strategically located close to Chennai and Bangalore, Tirupati has good scope for developing the IT sector,” he said.
Stating that for industrial development to take place, infrastructure facilities are important, he said the government is working in that direction.
“Works for the international airport are in progress. SEZs like Sri City are steadily progressing and major industries like NBPPL at Mannavaram are coming up. Development will not happen overnight, but takes place gradually and efforts are on to see there are no bottlenecks,” he said.
When there is such a good potential for IT, why is that there is no visible development taking place? When this question was put to the general public, there are interesting answers.
Naga Joythi, a computer science graduate, says students who complete their professional courses are more interested in working in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, where the income, opportunities and growth will be good. People do not wish to work here, she says. It appears that proximity to metros like Bangalore and Chennai, which is thought to be a boon, is in fact a reason behind the underdevelopment of IT sector in Tirupati. “Companies prefer Chennai or Bangalore.
Why would someone take the risk setting up a company here where the required infrastructure is not in place? Though human resources are available, skills are not up to the mark,” says Srinivas, a technocrat, who started his computer services company in Tirupati a few years ago. However, he shifted to Bangalore for better opportunities. However, Srinivas admits that Tirupati has potential, but need to be projected in the right manner and the powers that be should take care to see that promises of development in Tire II cities such as Tirupati are not just on paper, but are actually implemented.