Dharamsala, May 25
The government is planning to develop two information technology (IT) parks in Kangra district. During a visit to the district recently, Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan surveyed one site near Palampur and another near Dharamsala for the proposed IT parks.
However, experts have expressed doubts over the success of the projects. They say the lack of proper housing is the biggest bottleneck in the development of the IT industry in the district or any other place in the state.
Pradeep Nair, a professor of journalism in the Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP), says he shifted to Dharamsala about 10 years ago. “It was very difficult to find a proper accommodation in the region. The housing facilities have not been developed in the area and people rent just portions of their houses without adequate amenities,” he adds.
“Outsiders have to take permission from the government to buy land in Himachal and that is a cumbersome process. Until the state builds or frames a proper housing policy, it will not be able to attract professionals or investors,” he says.
Varun Rattan, who runs an IT company in Dharamsala, says the IT industry is heavily dependent on skilled professionals, who will have to come here for work from across the country.
Rattan says, “At present, there is an acute shortage of housing facilities for professionals willing to move to Kangra. I have my own house in Dharamsala and I want to renovate it. I am looking to rent a three or four bedroom house to shift my family till my house is renovated. However, I couldn’t find any suitable house to shift.”
He says if the government is planning to build an IT park, it should also build an integrated township with it to provide housing for professionals. It is only then that the IT park can be successful in Himachal.
Kuldeep Sharma, an industrialist, says most of the industry in the state has developed in fringe areas of Solan and Una districts. It developed in border areas of the state as people or professionals come and work in Himachal, but settle in borders areas of Punjab where better housing facilities are available. “If the state government wants to attract investment in interior areas of the state, it will have to adopt a policy for providing housing facilities to professionals moving in from other states,” he adds.
There are very few planned housing projects in Kangra district. For the past more than 10 years, HIMUDA has not been able to bring up any planned colony in the district. There are very few planned private housing projects in the district. Experts say if the government wants to attract investment in the state, it should first get the private housing industry to create basic infrastructure for investors to come and settle.
No new HIMUDA colony in 10 yrs
- For the past more than 10 years, HIMUDA has not been able to bring up any planned colony in the district due to the non-availability of land
- There are very few planned private housing projects in the district
- Varun Rattan, who runs an IT firm in Dharamsala, says the govt should build an integrated township with the IT park to provide housing to professionals
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