THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : One would expect Technopark, the country’s first IT park situated in the capital city, to play the role of a perfect host at a time when the state is giving thrust to the information technology sector.
Making Technopark the base could be a win-win situation for the park and the companies, but there is a visible reluctance to allot space there, with the long queue of applicants dating back to 2015. With clarity missing, many companies are forced to move to either private facilities or coworking spaces. The companies are looking for office space in Technopark phase-I, III and Technocity.
As per the statistics available on Technopark’s website as on May 9, 2022, as many as 125 companies have sought builtup space and 21 companies for plug and play in phase I; 188 and 102, respectively, in phase III; 26 and 26 in Technocity, and 8 companies in Kollam Technopark. Demand ranges from 300 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft. Technopark has allotted space for only 44 companies so far.
Those waiting in the queue also include firms that want to open restaurants, book shops and laundry units. “There is enough space available in Technopark phase- I, III and Technocity, but the authorities send the approaching companies back asking them to enquire after some time. If there is no space, Technopark can set up prefab facilities for the time being.
If it continues to show apathy, then it would affect the very existence of the park in future,” a source said. Rejeesh (name changed), who runs an IT company in the city for the past 20 years, said he had applied for a space in October 2021 but has yet to receive any communication from the authorities. “Our company has been functioning in a leased space and its period will end soon.
We are keen to expand and hire more people. So we approached Technopark for space. We have learnt from some officials there that there are spaces. But when we meet those in charge of allotting them, they say no space is available. When contacted, IT Secretary Biswanath Sinha said the government cannot comment on the issue as it is an internal matter of Technopark.
Meanwhile, a Technopark top official told TNIE that a space can be allotted only if a company surrenders it. “We receive at least one request daily, mostly from medium and small companies that are in queue. Demand is high, but we have space constraints at Technopark.
We would like companies to share space with other firms, but many of them are not interested. If some companies move out to private developer spaces, then a large area can be created and more spaces can be allocated. It is a gradual process. We hope this queue system can be streamlined within two years, “ the official said.