Taurus seeks speedy allotment of land


The Times of India - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Taurus Investment Holdings has asked the state government to speed up allotment of land for the development of its Downtown Technopark project. The firm, which had won the Swiss Challenge bid, is looking to get started before the announcement of Lok Sabha elections. 


Its India operations managing director Ajay Prasad has written to Technopark chief executive Girish Babu that the firm cannot "indefinitely maintain its proposal" worth Rs 1200 crore of FDI, the largest such investment to reach Kerala in the IT sector. It noted that three months had lapsed since the bid concluded while the request for proposal (RFP) had mentioned a timeframe of two weeks for awarding the project. 


"It's our fiduciary duty to return the best value to our investors and partners and this calls for us not to lock up valuable capital for a project that is evidently not making progress... IIn good faith, we have been keeping very significant amounts of capital apart to fund the requirements of the Taurus Downtown Technopark Project and feel that's not in the best interest of our stakeholders to continue doing so for an indefinite period, especially as when a number of alternatives within and outside India are available," group chairman Lorenz Reibling states in the letter. 


A government source said the finance department had cleared the file on Wednesday and it was with the concerned department now. 


"The file couldn't be cleared on Thursday as the section clerk was on leave but the process has been fast-tracked and the file will be included in the cabinet meeting on February 12 or 19. There was some confusion regarding the number of lease years for the project, which was halved to 30 at one point, but it was pointed out that the RFP clearly stated a 90-year period and that cannot be changed." 


The project site will be on lease from Technopark's development authority, an autonomous venture of the state government. Downtown Technopark will be anchored by up to 2,000,000 SF of world-class technology office space and will also include retail, hotel and convention facilities. 


The $200 million project is expected to generate over 20,000 jobs.