Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has abandoned the 'work near home' project, that aimed to provide facilities for IT employees to work close to their houses.
The ‘work near home’ project was presented in the last budget of the first Pinarayi government, before the state Assembly elections. The then Finance Minister Dr T M Isaac had exuded much hope, while speaking about the project after the budget presentation. But the second Pinarayi government has assessed that it is not practical to implement the project in the changed scenario.
Around Rs 3.05 crore was allotted to the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram for the preliminary works of the project. But the government has now given the nod to divert this amount for construction works at the Technopark premises. Rs 1 crore each were allotted to Infopark in Kochi and Cyberpark in Kozhikode, but no progress was made.
The Technopark executive council had also decided not to go ahead with the 'work near home' project and sought permission from the government to divert the funds.
‘Work near home’
After the Covid pandemic struck and the IT companies shifted to the work from home option, the government came up with the 'work near home' project.
The project envisaged to take buildings in various parts of Kerala on rent, and set up work near home centres. The project also aimed to provide facilities such as computers, internet, cafe, air-conditioner, and meeting rooms. And also said that employees, who do not have these facilities at home, could come to these centres and make use of the facilities by paying the rent. The revenue was intended to be shared by the government and the entrepreneur.
But as the IT companies are providing facilities, including computers and internet connectivity, to their employees, the government is of the view that the ‘work near home’ project is no longer relevant. This is the main reason for dropping the project. Meanwhile, private firms have come forward to offer facilities akin to 'work near home' in villages and towns.