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Kerala: Big blow for ‘Hub and Spoke’, CAG calls it a failure

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Thiruvananthapuram: The much publicised ‘hub and spoke’ Kerala model for IT development has turned a cropper, a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said.

It was learnt from the report, which was tabled in Kerala assembly on Monday (June 29) and made available on Thursday, that 80.76 percent of the built up area at seven locations remained unallocated as the land acquired was mainly in remote localities and not suitable for IT purposes.

Speaking to IANS on Thursday, Kerala IT secretary P.H. Kurian said that they are doing their best to showcase these locations to prospective investors.

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The CAG audit reports pointed out that it was as per the IT Policy 2007 that envisaged creation of a ‘hub and spoke model’ of IT development with two large IT parks at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi functioning as the hub for smaller IT parks in other parts of the state.

The CAG report said that KSITL acquired 402.65 acres of land at seven different places in the state to set up the ‘hub and spoke’ model for IT development.

The IT Policy 2007 came when V.S. Achuthanandan-ruled Left government was in office from 2006-11.

Incidentally, it was the state-owned Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITL), which was responsible for the development of IT cities in the public private partnership model and had set up these new IT parks under the ‘hub and spoke’ model.

“The land acquired was mainly in remote localities and was not suitable for IT purpose. As a result 320.66 acres of land was not allotted till-November 2014,” said the CAG report.

Incidentally, the state government incurred a cost of Rs.229.88 crore for acquisition of land and for developing infrastructure facilities in these seven locations.

The seven locations include Kundara (Kollam district),Ambalappuzha and Cherthala (both in Alappuzha district), Koratty (Ernakulam), Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod.

Of these, at Amabalapuzha, Kannur and Kasargod, the land has been acquired, while at the other places, the percentage of idling of land was as high as 77.34 percent.

(IANS)

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Franco Mulakkal, bishop of the Indian city of Jalandhar, center, whom a nun has accused of rape, leaves after appearing for questioning by police in Kochi, India, Sept. 19, 2018. The bishop has denied the accusation. VOA

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