Cyber Park Kasargod
The present proposal is for the development of a Special Economic Zone for the promotion of IT, ITES and other Knowledge Industries in the Kasorgod District for augmenting the development of Northern region called Malabar region of Kerala State. About 100 acres of land has got transferred by Government of Kerala from Plantation Corporation for this project, out which 25 acres is proposed to be developed initially as an IT/ITeS specific SEZ. It is proposed to be developed by Cyberpark Kozhikode, which was recently established to act as the hub for development of IT/ITeS sector in the Northern Region. The park is named Cyberpark, Kasargod.
As a part of initial infrastructure development, the following facilities are proposed to be created by Cyberpark.
Cyberpark is a society formed by GoK under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 with the main object of acting as a hub for the development of the IT/ITES industry in northern region of the Kerala State. It is formed in line with Technopark in south and Infopark in the central regions. Its first project is the development of Cyberpark in Kozhikode and as its spokes in Kannur and Kasargod. The day to day management is vested on the CEO of the park who is an expert appointed from the industry.
Location – Kasargod
The District is bounded by Kannur District to the south and Dakshina Kannada District to the north. All along its east it is walled by the Western Ghats while along the west the Arabian Sea borders it. Kasargod District is located at 12°50´N 75°50´E and covers an area of 1992 km and has a population (2001 census) of 1,203,342. Kasaragod district consists of two taluks viz., Kasaragod and Hosdurg (Kanhangad).
The landscape is dominated by the characteristic coconut palms accompanying rolling hills and streams flowing into the sea. The landscape is dotted with tiled-roof buildings, topped with the famous Kasaragod tiles made with the local hard red clay and typically walled with laterite blocks. Older houses are commonly found with elaborate woodwork. Kasaragod is the one of the most beautiful districts in Kerala state with 11 rivers (out of a total of 44 rivers in Kerala), forts, beaches, hills and backwaters.
The district has a generally humid climate with an oppressive hot season from March to the end of May. The international airport at Mangalore is the nearest air port at present which is located about 120 KMs away from the proposed Park. The international air port at Kozhikode is only about 150 KMs. However, the 4th International airport in the state is nearing completion at Mattannur in Kannur District. With completion of this airport, the proposed park, which lies in the southern border of the district, will become more easily accessible by air.
The pollution free atmosphere and the large pool of skilled human talent available in the region make it the most suitable destination for knowledge based industries.
The availability of low cost highly skilled resources, of which a substantial portion is qualified female IT professionals, good civil infrastructure including the up coming international airport and proximity to Kozhokode and Mangalore air ports, good quality hospitals, schools, shopping malls and entertainment facilities etc., it is imperative that an SEZ must be developed at the earliest in order to ensure the growth of knowledge based units in the region and thereby to the further social and economical development of the region as well as to penetrate the economic growth in to the peripheral rural economy from the urbans, where it is presently concentrated. The current proposal for establishing an IT SEZ in Kasargod is a step in this direction.
Kasargod – Economy
Agriculture forms the mainstay of the population of the district. The soil in the three natural divisions generally fall under three types. In the highland region it is laterite. The eastern tract comprises of forests and hilly areas. The forests comprise of a variety of timber with teak and other plantations. The hilly areas are mostly cleared and put to private cultivation; the important crops being rubber, cashew and ginger. In the skeletal plateau areas, cashew trees are cultivated, while in some patches, arecanut, pepper and cocoa are grown. In the coastal tract, paddy, coconut, arecanut, cashew, tobacco, vegetable and tapioca are cultivated. Along with these pepper and copra are the major commodities being traded here.
Kasaragod district has vast potentials for the establishment of large and medium industries, but the district is at present industrially backward. There is no major industry here. There are some small scale industries, though. Being blessed with a variety of factors such as good soil, salubrious climate, rich forests, enormous fishing potentials, minerals as well as infrastructural facilities like road, rail etc., the district offers ample scope for the development of industries. Nevertheless, Kannur is an industrially backward district in the state.
Kasargod district has an 80 kms. long sea coast extending from Trikaripur to Bangra–Manjeshwar. There are many fish landing centers in this district, transporting facilities and ice plants.
Kasargod in terms of Education and R&D
Kasargod houses the following three medical colleges.
The engineering colleges in the district are:
Some of the other major institutes in Kannur are:
Demand for Office Space
Real estate sector has witnessed heightened activity due to perceptible demand in all sectors; hospitality, residential, retail and office space. Traditionally the demand from leisure travellers to tourist destinations to Wayanad and northern region of Kerala has been fuelling the growth and development of hospitality industry. In future, the growth of IT/ITES sector, medical tourism, and other development projects are expected to drive the demand for business hotels in the future.
Demand for office space in Kasargod is expected to grow at a brisk pace. The CyberPark´s initiative, various infrastructure projects, general business investments coming from the NRI groups, in the background of low manpower costs, high literacy and easy availability of talent pool, low attrition rates, low to moderate real estate costs, inexpensive cost of living etc. are expected to attract more IT/ITES companies and other knowledge based industries to Kasargod in the next 3 – 5 years.
Existing IT Activities in Kasargod
At present there is no major IT initiative in the state.
Government of Kerala following its ‘hub & spoke’ model of development of IT industry in the State has established ‘Cyberpark’ in Kozhikode as a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 which will form the ‘hub’ in the Malabar region. Cyberpark proposes to set up an IT/ITES park in Kannur as its first spoke as SEZ for the overall development of IT industry in the Malabar region.
The second spoke is proposed to be set up in Cheemeni Village of Kasargod District, which is expected to boost the industrial development of the nature blessed, but backward region of the state. It is expected that implementation of an IT Park with state-of-art infra-structure facilities and professional administration will attract several major players of the industry to come and establish their business here which in turn will give an impetus for the sustained growth of this traditionally backward region.