CHENNAI: The Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT) under then DMK government implemented special economic zone projects without preparing a detailed project report or carrying out feasibility studies, according to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
The report stated that the State had accorded permission to ELCOT to establish eight information technology SEZs in Chennai and Tier-II cities at a cost of Rs 399.27 crore. This included Rs 65.03 crore of Union government’s Assistance to States for Development of Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE).
The report highlighted that the investment of Rs 399.27 crore largely remained idle defeating the objective of formation of SEZs. An audit of seven of the eight SEZs found that ELCOT did not prepare feasibility studies for SEZs in Madurai, Salem and Tirunelveli. What is more, SEZs at Tirunelveli and Salem were located in rocky and mining areas while Trichy was not a second generation IT destination. However, ELCOT went ahead with the construction of IT park without a strategy for marketing of plots.
The report said that ELCOT first issued (July 2007-August 2009) tender notices and awarded contracts for execution of common infrastructure and IT buildings without any DPR for six SEZ projects. Later it issued (April to October 2009) work orders for preparation of DPR, which violated the guidelines of ASIDE.
The CAG found that ELCOT could market only 37 per cent of the land and 13 per cent of the IT space to the IT companies. This was an off-shoot of taking up ventures concurrently in all the Tier-II cities without ascertaining their marketability, the report said.