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Madurai’s violent image ticks off techies

Chennai, Jul 15 (): Madurai’s IT parks have no takers since the city’s violence culture has kept the techies away. With IT companies sending choices to employees working to choose their new locations in IT parks at Madurai and Trichy most of them opted for latter, despite most of the techies from Tamil Nadu coming from Madurai district.

“Subrama­niyapuram, Madurai Sambavam and Adukalam the three films that were hits has sullied the image of Madurai. This (negative impact of films) came to light during a brainstorming session involving top honchos from different sectors, including representatives from IT companies, last year” said R Sivarajah – President, Software Industries Development Association of South Tamil Nadu.

Only three firms occupy the Ilandhaikulam IT Park here, while a second IT Park at Vadapalanji is yet to take off. Occupancy rate at the IT Park here is only 30 per cent, while in Trichy it’s 70 to 80 percent, says an official from Madurai.

Just a little over 100 small software companies are functioning in Madurai, providing applications assistance for larger enterprises. Each company employs 25 people on an average, with some establishing branches in other states for back-end operations.

Statistics reveal that IT firms in the Temple City exported software for just `28 crore in the financial year 2009-10, even as other tier II and III cities in Tamil Nadu recorded software exports of `870 crore.

Though Madurai’s IT growth started a decade ago, it figured in the software map of the country only after the renowned Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab entered into a MoU with a local Engineering college to establish a training centre for recruitment. It gained momentum in 2008 when the Indian Government accorded the SEZ status to the IT parks in Illandaikulam and Vadapalanji.

Both IT parks, collectively, were expected to provide direct employment to 60,000 people and indirectly benefit 1.65 lakh others. But that has not happened.