The countryâ€™s only Information Technology (IT) Park at Banepa has been lying vacant after the Netherlands-based Javra Software Company pulled shutters in June 2007 citing poor internet connectivity inside the park, which can, in normal course, accommodate six IT companies. But political instability and the governmentâ€™s failure to ensure foreign companies safe, cost-effective and IT-friendly environment had the park envisioned with the explicit aim of expanding the countryâ€™s IT sector and attract foreign investment floundering miserably.
It seems as if those who came up with the idea of the IT park could not see how difficult it is to operate an ultra-modern facility in a politically unstable and resource-deficient country like Nepal. Otherwise profligate spending on such expensive projects can hardly be justified. The High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT), the main body responsible for building and maintaining the park, was certainly starry-eyed about the project which they had declared would â€œserve as a catalyst for the development of ICT sector in the country.â€ But the park is turning out to be a liability rather than a model IT service provider. Why cannot park space be leased out to Nepali IT service providers at reasonable rates instead of keeping it vacant in expectation of high-spending foreign companies coming to its rescue? There is no justification in leaving the park space unoccupied while the taxpayers continue to foot its huge maintenance bill.