Himachal IT Park fails to get off the ground

Shimla: Despite an advantageous and a salubrious pollution free climate with abundance of power, Himachal Pradesh has failed to become a hub for IT (Information Technology) industry and is struggling to set up its first IT Park, something which has been on the drawing board for years.

“Much is being made out from about withdrawing of excise exemptions and curtailing of the industrial package but while the opportunity was there, nothing was done to attract IT industry into the state,” says Subhash Sharma, a former employee of the IT department.

“After trying for years to set up an IT Park, the red-tapism involved was simply too exasperating and I simply left,” he said.

Having failed to attract any worthwhile investor for an expression of interest invite to set up 5 IT parks in March, 2006, the government efforts to set up at least one of them under the private public partnership (PPP) mode has not fared any better.

Back in 2006, IT parks were proposed at Dalhousie, Nalagarh, Kangra, Raja Ka Bagh (Nagari) and Waknaghat.

Bids were invited for setting up an IT park-cum-township on a 63 acres land piece at Waknaghat near Solan in September, 2009. They were closed in January after the last date was extended because of poor response from developers. Since then no headway has been made on the prestigious project, disclosed an IT department official.

Stalemate prevails over making changes in the request for proposal (RFP) document so as to make the project more attractive for investors persists as the government land laws forbid direct sale of government land and only permit lease holdings for such kind of investments.

“It’s only after changes are made in the RFP the need to be approved by the cabinet that a re-bidding for the proposed IT Park would be able to take place,” says an IT official not wanting to disclose his identity.

Saptarishi Mukherjee, an IT professional who has done a study on IT status in Himachal says, “the state lags behind many others in IT industry despite the advantages of a good climate, high literacy and good connectivity that it has.”

“Even though there are good institutes like Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat and NIIT, Hamirpur around, but with there being no industry to absorb the professionals, the sector refuses to grow,” says Mukherjee.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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6 Comments

  1. says: Himachal Government IT Department

    The Department of Information and Technology had floated tender in the month of September 2009 for the selection of developer to set up integrated IT park-cum-township project in Waknaghat in Solan district.

    However keeping in view the global economic slowdown, especially in the IT sector and as advised by the IT park consultant, it was decided to keep the project in abeyance, Director, Information and Technology, Subhashish Panda stated here today.

    He said that the department has now submitted a revised proposal to HP infrastructure development Board keeping in view the market requirements.

    Once the same was approved by the Board, the process for creating IT park at Waknaghat shall be started soon, said Panda.

    1. says: rajesh

      Sir, I just want to know how far the airport is from this proposed IT park. Remember one thing that this IT park must have very good road, rail and air connectivity to have global presence. And ofcourse 24X7 power supply and other infrastructure. You have to approach IT giant and ask them if they are interested to open their offices to Himachal. Atleast for IT development, you have to think like Chanderbabu Naidu.
      Good luck
      Rajesh
      Hyderabad

  2. says: Avnish

    Really sad about this news.

    It nothing but inefficient government and also past government. We have lost the race of IT whether for HP or even for Chandigarh.

    I wish goverenment babus learn to work with people who offer them right network and help.

    HP government has always been cold for networking.

  3. says: Rajnish

    This is really sad. Himachal has all the potencial of becoming a IT Hub. I know a lot of IT professionals himachali and non himachali’s working all aroung India and around the world who would like to contribute/work in Himachal if they are given the oppertunity. The gurvernment will not do anything till they find somethin in it for them.

  4. says: Harish Sharma (DBA)

    This shows the awareness of the government. Himachali’s are always working out for companies in other states of India, because there are no initiative taken by the government to lure big IT giants in this regard. There is no big industry in Himachal. The worst thing is that there are no such actions from government where we can hope for future development in Himachal in industrial sector.

    There are a lot of possibilities of green industry like (wind, IT, Power) but nothing can happen without dedication.

    Eventfully educated population is suffering. Himachal is the best in providing education but what about the employment.

    Just think:
    Is there any big industry in Himachal? No. Why?
    Is there any good company in Himachal? No. Why?
    Why Himachal is lagging far as compare to other states in the area of Industrialization?
    Why we need to go out to work. We also want to work for our state our Himachal.

    This all is possible when some educated people would be there in power.
    There are no positive actions taken by HP government in this regard. This all is the result of Indolence of Himachal government. It doesn’t matter which party is in the power what matters is that how aware we are about the fast changing environment and technology.
    Don’t know when this wait will end up and we will get the chance to work in our state.

  5. says: rohit

    Sad but the fact is our politicians are not capable enough to work for people rather more interested in looking at their bank accounts .

    Himachal has lot of potential to grow but ” I love my Politicians” 🙂

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