PONDICHERRY - WINDOW TO THE NEW MILLENNIUM
The mention of Pondicherry brings to mind visions of the French Riviera and its picturesque settings. It is also synonymous with Sri Aurobindo, the revolutionary-turned-saint, who settled here in 1910. Though only 492 sq. kms. in area, because of its vibrant economy, excellent infrastructure and a very attractive package of incentives, Pondicherry has become a favoured destination of investors and is now ready to leapfrog into the new millennium.
Pondicherry was constituted of four erstwhile French establishments of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. While Pondicherry is located about 170 km south of Madras, Karaikal lies about 150 kms further down south near Nagapattinam, Mahe lies on the Western ghats surrounded by Kerala and is about 653 kms away from Pondicherry and Yanam is about 840 kms north east of Pondicherry near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Pondicherry is accessible from Chennai airport, being just a two hour drive away; Yanam is about 200 kms. from Visakapatinam airport; Calicut Airport connects to Mahe, 70 kms away.
Aims, objectives and functions of PIPDIC
PIPDIC was established by the Government of Pondicherry on 17th April, 1974 with the aim of promoting and developing industries in this Union Territory of Pondicherry. The main objectives are spelt out in the Memorandum of Association of the Corporation which are in brief as follows :
(a) To work for the industrial development of the Union Territory of Pondicherry;
(b) To encourage and promote the expansion of investment markets in the Union Territory of Pondicherry;
(c) To lend money for promotion of industries;
(d) Develop infrastructure facilities like estates, growth centres etc.
With the above aims and objectives, the Corporation has completed 25 glorious years acting as a catalyst in the industrial development of this Union Territory.
The Corporation was incorporated as a limited company under the Companies Act, 1956, with a modest share capital of Rs.50 lakhs. Today its authorized share capital is Rs.40 crores with contributions from Government of Pondicherry and Industrial Development Bank of India.
Upto the financial year 1998-99, the Corporation has assisted 2426 projects amounting to Rs.13868 lakhs. The Corporation has been operating various schemes for financial assistance to suit the requirements of the entrepreneurs.
New initiatives & projects on the anvil
Having completed a quarter century of operations and in entering the next millennium, the Corporation has the following new projects on hand:
a. Electronic Park at Thirubuvanai, Pondicherry
The Electronic Park has been set up at Thirubuvani, on the Villupuram Pondicherry National Highway 23 kms from Pondicherry Town. The Park has all the infrastructure facilities. Multi-storied buildings are also available for allotment. The categories of plots being offered to entrepreneurs are :
Type Size Nos. available
`A' 21x50 79
`B' 18x36 37
`Need based' as required 14
b. Growth Centre at Karaikal
To facilitate a balanced development, PIPDIC is setting up a Growth Centre along the Karaikal-Nagapattinam ECR Highway about 7km from Karaikal. The Growth Centre will be spread over an area of 592 acres and aims at bringing about an overall development of the area.
Karaikal is located about 140 kms. south of Pondicherry along the ECR Highway. The Growth Centre is situated about 7 kms from Karaikal and 11 kms. from Nagapattinam Port. The nearest Airport at Trichy is located at a distance of 140 kms and has a rail head at Nagapattinam.
The Growth Centre has been conceived to create good industrial infrastructure in backward regions to attract investment.
The Growth Centre will have 592 acres of developed land with good internal roads for a proper circulation system.
Situated opposite the newly commissioned 32 MW Gas Power Plant of the Pondicherry Power Corporation Ltd.
Water will be supplied through pumping mains carried from a distance of about 8 kms.
Storage of water is proposed in an artificial lake of about 50 acres.
Other infrastructure like seweage, drainage and telecommunications of good standard will be provided.
A green belt with plantation of trees on both sides of the road will be provided.
A building will be constructed for essential services like Fire Service, Bank and Post Office.
c. Pondy Technopolis (The Pondicherry Information Technology Park)
The Government is putting in place an exceedingly pro-active industry specific initiative for promoting I.T. industries in Pondicherry. The sunrise sector is the most eco-friendly industry which is ideally suited for Pondicherry, as it exerts least pressure on land and environment.
IT Policy on the anvil
Electronic governance proposed
All Government Departments to be net worked by INTERNET for information exchanges.
Centre for Advanced Study in Information Technology (CASIT) to be set up
Digital libraries to be set up in public libraries and academic institutions.
Industrial Guidance Bureau to be set up.
Pondy Technopolis : World scale, World class
The Pondy Tecnopolis has become a single point contact for Government clearance.
Phase-I of the Pondy Technopolis has been inaugurated by H.E. the Lt. Governor on 27.10.1999. Data Communication facilities are made available in association with VSNL. Ready built modules having the size ranging from 400 sq. ft. to 1500 sq. ft. are available. The total space available is 24,000 sq. ft.
In the second phase we are having an ambitious plan and strategy to promote IT industry. Vacant land to an extent of 18 acres has been earmarked for this purpose in the Campus of Pondicherry Engineering College. The important facilities to be planned are :-
1. Central facilities Centre with an area of about 50,000 sq. ft. housing the office of the Pondy Technopolis, a Convention Centre, Smaller Conference Rooms, Library, Business Incubators, Business Centres etc.
2. Multi-Enterprise building with modules of different sizes-the first MEB building will have lettable space of about 60,000 sq. ft divided into 30 modules - with power, water and telephone connection.
3. Cafeteria, Club House, a commercial complex to accommodate a bank, post office, shopping hall etc.
4. Advanced Telecomunication System.
5. Dedicated electric supply and DG sets for back up.
Data Communication Facilities
M/s Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL) a Government of India Organisation has set up a Data Communication Facilities for Information Technology Park through 2 MB stream from Chennai. The leased wire connectivity is given through Optical Fire Cable which has high realiability. The charges for Data Communication Facility are directly payable by customers to VSNL.
In the first phase, the Park is located adjacent to the Pondicherry Engineering College Campus and the Pondicherry University.
Easily approahable from the Chennai International Airport along the picturesque East Coast Highway in 2 hours.
Trained/qualified manpower available.
Built up spaces are readily available for immediate occupation on affordable rent.
UPS power available, Generator power back-up also available.
Telecommunication facilities, ISD/STD, Mobile phone/Pager services available.
To meet the Export/Import obligations of Software Exporters which can be availed under STPI scheme, arrangements are being made to set up the Branch Office of Software Technology Park of India exclusively for Pondicherry area.
The Pondicherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation Limited (PIPDIC) will provide financial assistance by way of term loans under various long term schemes.
Integrated Infrastructural Development Projects (IID) Sedarapet, Pondicherry
The Government of Pondicherry is setting up an Integrated Infrastructural Development Centre at Sedarapet, Pondicherry, at a project cost of Rs.720 lacs in an area of 100 acres. This Centre is being set up to promote a cluster of small scale and tiny units with a view to generate employment opportunities and promote a strong linkage between agriculture and industry with technological back up and necessary infrastructure.
Thrust areas for Investment in Pondicherry
1. Information Technology (IT) :
The knowledge based sunrise industry is growing stronger with time. A large pool of IT professionals and state-of-the-art communication facilities are available at Pondicherry. A comprehensive and futuristic IT Policy is to be announced shortly.
This is the traditional business of Pondicherry. Specialised skilled manpower is available. Fabric produced is of the highest quality with promising demand in the overseas market.
3. Leather products
Skilled craftsmen manufacture world-class leather products - the largest item of exports from Pondicherry.
4. Auto Components
With the rise of auto giants like Ford and Hyundai in Tamil Nadu, there is a good scope for establishing ancillary units.
5. Marine Products
Pondicherry has a marine catch amounting to 40000 tonnes a huge untapped potential for processing units - great scope for shrimp culture and crab farming. A modern fishing harbour is coming up at Thengathittu in Pondicherry and at Karaikal.
6. Agro Processing
Much sought after destination for Agro Food Processing, floriculture ventures like cut flowers and for cultivating medicinal and aromatic plants. Huge pool of trained man-power available at much cheaper rates than elsewhere. Good potential for fruit pulp processing units and for cultivation of orchids.
7. Tourist Resorts, Theme Parks/Amusement Parks
The picturesque beach lends to Pondicherry the ambiance of a resort town endowed with estuaries, inland water bodies and back waters. An ideal site for the development of resort town activities, water sports, beach tourism and golf course.
8. Hotel Industry
and an increased flow of tourists have created demand for good quality
hotels and restaurants. There is excellent scope for developing the hotel
industry. It has been estimated in the master plan prepared for Pondicherry
that there is an additional demand of 3000 hotel rooms in next 5 years.