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Technocity Location

@ Sudheesh - That's great news. Here is a satellite image with an approximate location of the Technocity site. The area marked in Red is the rough area where the project should come up, on the stretch of NH-47 between Pallipuram and Mangalapuram. The area marked in Green is the Phase I campus of Technopark (185 acres), which is just 4-5 Kms away.

The proposed site for Technocity is also close to the sprawling Group Headquarters (GHQ) of the CRPF at Pallipuram and to the 440 KV Substation of Power Grid Corp. which draws power directly from the national grid.

 

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Power Grid Substation, Pallipuram

Here are a few images of the 440 KV Substation of the Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL) at Pallipuram, very close to the proposed site of Technocity. There is a KSEB 220 KV substation closeby. The PGCIL substation taps directly into the National Power Grid, and will also receive power from the u/c 2000 MW Koodankulam Nuclear Power station. This will ensure virtually unlimited, high-quality power supply to Technocity. :)

Here we see the township of PGCIL which adjoins the sub-station yard.

 

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Here we can catch a glimpse of the main sub-station yard. The board reads "Prohibited Area" so I took this pic rather surreptitiously! :D Didn't want to get thrown in the local gaol!

The yard is equipped with giant transformers, probably with ratings of 100 MVA or higher, designed to supply Trivandrum city and its suburbs, as well as southern districts like Kollam, Pathanamthitta etc. This is the second 440 KV station in Kerala after Pallom, and the very first PGCIL facility here. It will act as the hub for the proposed "backbone grid" which will supply all districts in Kerala.

 

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A better view of the yard from the side. The large building on the left is the Control Centre for the sub-station. This facility steps down power from 440 KV to 220 KV, and feeds it to a nearby KSEB 220 KV facility.

 

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Let's discuss Technocity....

As the Technocity project is entering the formalization period, let's discuss what we would like to be set up in the project. Being a Public-Private Partnership, it has more transparency and participation than projects elsewhere. In fact, we can collate the suggestions which come up here and submit to the Government. With the sort of expertise we have with all the forumers, I am sure we will come up with some great ideas...:)

Here is my $ 0.02:

- The project should have 4/6 lane main thoroughfares and 2/3 lane byroads.

- Water mains would be available using a local water body as a source and state-of-the-art filtration technology.

- An extensive 11 KV feeder system, sourced from the 440 KV PGCIL station/220 KV KSEB station, both of which are right next door.

- An initial 1,000,000 sft of built-up space for IT/ITES from the promoter itself, with expandibility in modules of 500,000 sft.

- 500-1,000 units of quality accomodation with accompanying lifestyle facilities like a shopping mall, schools and hospitals.

- Additional 1,000,000 sft of built-up space by a specialist builder like Ascendas or L&T, again expandable in 500,000 sft modules.

- Several 10-20 acre plots of developed land for custom-built IT facilities for major firms.

.....that's about all can think of right now, as a first phase. Looking forward to suggestions from all of you...:D
 

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@ s.ananthapuri - Yup, buddy, the developer(s) of Technocity will be responsible for providing the basic amenities and lifestyle infrastructure in the project. This includes utilities - water, electricity and connectivity- as well as residential facilities, shopping mall, schools, leisure facilities etc.

Basic infrastructure will probably be taken up by the Govt., just like it is doing at Technopark. Looking at other similar developments like Mahindra World City, Chennai and Magarpatta City, Pune , there are different ways to proceed:

- The main developer(s) can build all the IT/ITES space and support facilities by itself, in several phase.

- The main developer can build only the IT/ITES space and then let specialist developers build the support facility.

- The main developer builds some of the IT/ITES space and lets others develop built-up space and support facilities. IT/ITES co.s can also build independent facilities inside the park just like Infosys, TCS, IBS and US Technology are now building within Technopark. :)

In Mahindra World City, the third model is followed with builders like Ascendas joining in on the project.Guess that's the best option in such a large project as this! I hope the rest of you can add more inputs...:)
 

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Well said, Sudheesh! :) Phased expansion with a partnership between the Govt. and multiple private partners is the best and most competitive approach for a project of this scale. It prevents the ill-effects of monopoly rights which could result from deals with a single investor - like the one proposed by GoK for a smaller park elsewhere. Even in the case of the Mahindra World City, other investors like Ascendas ensure that IT firms have choice. :) The same should be the case with Technocity!

GoK has also announced that the Metro Rail/MRTS project for Trivandrum is being revived. The Technopark & Technocity will be an ideal point for one end of the route. Technopark will have upto 40-50,000 people by 2009, when the MRTS might start operations, and by then Technocity would also be well underway. Eventually, as many as 150,000 people would be working in this area - prospective commuters using the Metro-Rail.

Additionally, the NH-47 from Trivandrum to Cherthala is being four-laned. This includes the roads leading to Technocity and Techopark! :)
 

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The Technocity is starting to generate a lot of interest! Heard that the Mahindra group had written to GoK asking for land near Trivandrum to start a project on the lines of their World City in Chennai. :) They could be one of the prospective investors. Anyone with more info? Stay tuned!!!
 

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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said his government had decided to set up a new Techno City over an area of 500 acres since all the space at Technopark was booked even as there were many inquires from companies. The Techno City will be located about five kilometres from the Technopark campus.

"Several companies have expressed their willingness to invest in the Techno City but we are still working on the project ," said Chandy.
@ ananthapuri - Well said, mate! But let's not be concerned by hype and hot air. :D We will wait for the real project details to emerge. Stay tuned! :)
 

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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said his government had decided to set up a new Techno City over an area of 500 acres since all the space at Technopark was booked even as there were many inquires from companies
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Wonder why these guys have to wait till Technopark was choke-full till they thought of Technocity?!! Always the case - they started work on Thejaswini, only after the 1.5 million sft of existing space was fully occupied. Now that Thejaswini and Phase II have been filled, in record time, and investors have queued up for Phase III, they have started on Technocity. Hope they take up things at a brisk pace, like getting SEZ status declared well in advance and providing supporting infra...!! :)
 

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Great news Sudheesh! :D Hope GoK doesn't slacken the pace of the project in the future. Technocity will reinforce Trivandrum's status as the IT hub of the state, and take it to ever greater heights. What is even more encouraging is that the project is being undertaken in a transparent manner. No attempt to hoodwink the people, as is being attempted elsewhere! Hope to have more news soon. Stay tuned! :)
 

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The Hindu, Nov 6 - 2005

V.J. Jayakumar, CEO of Technopark, said a Technocity is being planned in Thiruvananthapuram. It is envisaged to be developed in an area of 500 acres with private partnership. To be located about 5 km from the present Technopark, the Technocity will have IT park, Biotech Park, hospitals, schools and residential complexes. A Centre for Nanotechnology may also be part of the project. He said that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for setting up a National Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Enterprise at the Technopark. There were also plans to set up IT parks in Thrissur, Kottayam and other district at a later stage, he said.

The investment climate has improved with the good word on Kerala work culture spreading across the country and beyond. In fact, employees working in IT companies are keen on completing the assigned job, working well beyond office hours, he said.
 

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Sumesh...we also have to understand that the people have become more aware of developmental issues too. Whereas earlier elections used to be fought on ideology and political dogma, this time the corporation elections in Trivandrum was fought on a developmental agenda as well, resulting in a thrashing of the UDF, which has long neglected the city. Look how much they have woken up, announcing projects left, right and centre. I hope the LDF does not forget the lesson after the Parliament and Assembly polls...guess they won't! :D
 

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News update about Technocity and Technopark

IT exports from Technopark to cross Rs. 600 cr.

P. Venugopal

More land to be acquired for expanding operations

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: IT exports from Technopark in Trivandrum are expected to cross Rs. 600 crores this year, according to Information Technology secretary P. H. Kurien. "We are in the midst of a virtual boom in IT activity," he told The Hindu "All the companies in Technopark have grown and are growing. And new companies have started coming here in a big way."

He said the 86 companies functioning in Technopark currently employ close to 10,000 professionals. The trend suggests that the number could double in another two or three years.

Availability of land is the only constraint at the moment. An extent of 242 acres of land acquired and developed in the first phase of Technopark's development has been fully utilised. The total built-up area occupied by IT companies at Technopark is 21,70,000 sq. ft. The acquisition of 100 acres more will be completed in a couple of months. This land too has been fully booked, Mr. Kurien said.

He said the area surrounding Technopark would soon turn into an "IT corridor." Earlier, there used to be local resistance to land acquisition programmes. However, the local residents are now coming forward with offers of land. He said IT majors have started recognising Trivandrum as one of the best destinations in the country. Blue chip companies such as Infosys, TCS, Ernst & Young, Allianz Cornhill, Link Air, Mckinsey and Co., Tata Elxsi, Alamy Images, RM ESI and Sherston ESI now have a presence in Trivandrum.

Companies such as US Software, IBS, SunTec, NeST, IVL, Ushus Technologies, Softex, Toonz Animation, Iridium and M2 Software have grown several fold over the last four or five years. Mr. Kurien said the next phase of IT development in Trivandrum would involve the acquisition of 500 acres of land for a `Technocity.' The department has a long list of inquiries from individual companies and also developers who want to invest in IT infrastructure in Trivandrum.
 

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Technocity Land Acquisition started!

Mr P.H. Kurian, Secretary-Information Technology, Government of Kerala, said the Kerala IT policy needs to be revised next year. The Kerala State IT Mission has commenced work on drafting a revised IT policy, he added.

Acquisition of land for the development of the proposed `Techno City' in the suburbs of Thiruvananthapuram is on, he said. The acquisition process is likely to be completed in about three months, he added. Similarly, land required for the second phase of the expansion of the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram is currently being developed, while land for the third phase of Technopark's expansion is being acquired, Mr Kurian explained. The second and third phase of the Technopark campus will have the status of a special economic zone, he added.
The Hindu Business Line, Nov 26
 

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Hi Ashok - welcome to SSC, first of all! :) I had read the report too. It seems the concern is about filling in of paddy fields, removal of earth from hillsides and the dust generated by construction operations. Indeed these are major concerns, to be taken very seriously. However, like you said, there are also vested interests at work in this issue.

Firstly, the expansion of Technopark - Phase II and III - is not on areas under cultivation. The areas being reclaimed has been lying fallow for a long time. The issue that reclaimation will upset the hydrological balance should be met to a great extent by the design of the campuses. Infosys, for example, will be using extensive rainwater harvesting in their 50 acre campus. In fact, a large water body will be created using rainwater.....far from creating flooding. The small channel running through the area will be landscaped and preserved.

The issue of soil erosion is quite real. But, it is extremely unfair to blame the Technopark expansion for the problem. It is upto the State Govt. to take steps to check this issue everywhere. One can hope that they are more circumspect in giving contracts henceforth.

As to the question of vested interests, I know that there quite a few playing around especially at the time Phase II acquisition was progressing. Some of them wanted to retain the land to take advantage of the impending real estate boom in the area. Others, including one of the leaders of the agitation then, wanted to grind a few political axes. Now that the local body and parliamentary elections have given comprehensive results, these same rusty axes may once more be out of the cupboard.

What everyone should remember is that the future of Trivandrum is now heavily dependent on the IT/ITES industry and any hassles with that will set us back a long way. Hope the netas realize that. Anyways, Phase II is already underway and Phase III has almost completely been acquired. I am sure that Technopark can steer clear of further trouble. Technocity is located in a very sparsely populated area, hopefully there will be less trouble there! :)
 

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A news update

The Kerala CM has asked for swift Central clearance and assistance for the Technocity project in Trivandrum in a meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia. The CM had met him to submit the 2006-07 Annual Plan for Kerala, which includes major projects like Technocity and the Vizhinjam Deepwater Port. :)
 

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In a discussion with Technopark management, I came to know that the Raheja Group is also very keen to participate in the Technocity project. :) They have also expressed readiness to develop as much as 2.5 million sft as part of Technopark Phase III.

And...HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! :)
 
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