CHENNAI: In a first of its kind move, the Tamil Nadu government is set to award the construction contracts of Elcot’s two proposed IT parks to the public works department (PWD), as against the private competitive bidding route. The parks are to come up at Coimbatore and Trichy. Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, who is also the state’s finance minister, announced in the budget last Friday that owing to the increasing demand for IT space, Elcot would develop IT parks in Coimbatore and Trichy. While he allocated Rs 100 crore for the 2.5 lakh-sqft IT park in Coimbatore, Rs 40 crore was allotted for the construction of a 1 lakh-sqft IT park in Trichy.
The decision to construct the facilities through PWD and not by private construction companies, usually selected through a competitive bidding route, was already taken at a top level official meeting held in the Secretariat in the first week of February, sources privy to the development told TOI. But a government order on this is yet to be issued, they added. This is the first major decision taken by the IT department after the earlier IT secretary Santhosh Babu was transferred and Hans Raj Verma replaced him. “The meeting was attended by IT secretary, PWD secretary and MD, Elcot, among others and a decision was arrived at to let PWD handle the construction. It was chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s idea and Elcot did not send any such proposal,” a source said. According to industry sources, for IT parks promoted in the government sector – either by Elcot or through Tidel Park Ltd, a company jointly promoted by Tidco and Elcot the services of CRN Architects and Engineers will first be utilized to design and list out construction specifications, since IT parks need to be intelligent buildings in line with the requirement of global IT majors. Based on it, competitive bids will be invited from construction companies, who have to first qualify by meeting the technical specifications and then offer the lowest bid to bag contracts. CRN will vouch for the construction at every stage of completion. “Perhaps, the PWD too is now well equipped to handle such constructions, having constructed scores of collectorates, hospitals and other government buildings. While people will start using a collectorate or a hospital as the government services will be compulsorily administered from those buildings, Elcot has to market the IT park space to tenants, a majority of whom are top level IT companies. One cannot equate the two segments,” said a property consultant, on the condition of anonymity.
February 20, 2020