ROURKELA:The very purpose of setting up the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) in Rourkela seems to be have been defeated as it is yet to be provided basic infrastructure. Be it possession of land, air connectivity or human resources, the STPI has none to take ahead the joint initiative of the State and Central Governments.
Notwithstanding the huge potential for IT sector growth in the country, the companies running from Rourkela-based STPI are struggling to stay afloat. Lack of conducive environment and air connectivity are some of the impediments that are holding back start-up entrepreneurs from coming here.
Sources said STPI was set up by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) of the Union Government in 2003. Soon after, State Government through IDCO re-acquired four acres of land from Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) to construct STPI building.
But STPI is still awaiting transfer of land ownership, which is pending with Board of Revenue for past three years, to construct its own building.
At present, the old and dilapidated building of the erstwhile industrial museum of RSP is being used to accommodate IT and IT Enabled Services (ITES) units and STPI office. In absence of its own building, nine IT and ITES units are functioning from present STPI campus, while two other registered IT units are operating from another building, STPI sources said. The built-up area of 10,000 square feet (sqft) is fully occupied and another 10,000 sqft built-up area is urgently required to attract start-up entrepreneurs.
Director, Seenet Consultancy Pvt Ltd, Raj Sahu said in absence of air connectivity, big IT firms and professionals are not showing interest to come here. As Rourkela STPI is not given adequate exposure, the companies here struggle to get export orders, he added.
Director, National Institute of Technology-Rourkela (NIT-R), Prof SK Sarangi said, IT professionals from the city prefer to settle in big cities and abroad due to lack of exposure and facilities here.
A senior STPI official confided that existing firms are unable to get quality manpower though the city is a breeding ground for technocrats. An electronic system design and manufacturing incubation centre should be set up at Rourkela, the official said. In view of Digital India campaign of the Centre, the Rourkela STPI has great growth potential provided the adversities get judiciously sorted out in time, he added.
Bhubaneswar-based STPI Director MR Panda could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Dilapidated building of the erstwhile industrial museum of RSP is being used to accommodate IT and ITES units and STPI office
STPI is still awaiting transfer of land ownership which is pending with Board of Revenue for past three years