Low service distracts investors from IT park

Kathmandu, June 7:

The Information Technology (IT) Park at Banepa has failed to attract foreign investors due to lack of suitable Internet connectivity.

The park was constructed in 2004 to promote and develop information technology in the country and attract foreign investment in the sector by providing a well-equipped workstation.

However, until now only Javra Software Company (JSC), a Dutch company, has set up its office in the park, which has the capacity to accommodate six companies.

“Internet is a must for companies working in the IT sector and the Nepal Telecom (NT) was supposed to provide a 512 kbps (kilo bite per second) Internet connectivity. But the NT failed to install the facility and substituted it with a 200 kbps facility and now no company is interested to come and work here,” said Saroj Devkota, vice-chairman of the High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT), adding that the JSC has also informed that it is withdrawing itself from the park due to the poor Internet facility.

The HLCIT and the NT officials are trying to find faults in the connectivity facility, said Madan Prasad Pariyar, member secretary of HLCIT. “Unless the problem is identified and solved, the IT Park will not function well,” he said.

Dinesh Panta, deputy manager of the Computer Department of NT said a task force, comprising representatives from the NT, HLCIT and IT consultants, has been formed to study the problem. “They will study the existing situation and recommend the measures to solve the technical problem.”

The IT Park could be the best place to generate employment opportunities for software programmers and developers.

Ranjan Baral, secretary of the Association of Computer Engineers of Nepal said, “The IT Park has a capacity to employ around 500 computer engineers and Nepal has enough manpower to run five such parks but the government should be more serious.”