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Kochi Smart City cleared; to create 100,000 jobs

Last updated on: February 3, 2011 09:03 IST

Kochi Smart City cleared; to create 100,000 jobs

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Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram


Realising a dream project, the Kerala government on Wednesday signed an agreement with its Dubai-based promoters for setting up the Smart City IT project in Kochi.

The proposed Smart City is likely to generate direct employment for 80,000 people and provide indirect employment to another 20,000 people.

The long-pending dispute between the two sides over the land ownership issues concerning the project were settled at the talks between Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Ahmed Homaid al Tajir, member of the Supreme Committee for Dubai World Group and Public Holding Group.

Additional inputs: PTI

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Image: Smart City project.

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Kochi Smart City cleared; to create 100,000 jobs

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As per the agreement, on completion of the master plan, 12 per cent of the total land would be converted from leasehold to freehold rights within the Special Economic Zone.

This project, slated to come up in 246 acres of land, was at a standstill for the past six years. With the hurdles cleared, the project will soon provide employment to thousands of young professionals in Kochi.

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan after signing the agreement with the UAE cabinet minister Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Gargavi said, "The Kochi Smart City project will come now.We have entered into a mutual agreement. All the skepticism (over the project) is now over."

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Image: Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Smart City executive director Fareed Abdulrahman.

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Kochi Smart City cleared; to create 100,000 jobs

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Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Gargavi said, "I am happy to announce that we have signed an agreement with the state government regarding the Smart City project .We will be providing the infrastructure and investing 900 million dirhams for this project in the initial phase."

The Kerala government would also exempt the land from registration fee and stamp duty. The agreement was later approved by the state cabinet, paving the way for the work to start without further delay.

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Image: Kochi.

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Kochi's Smart City project to become a reality

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Achuthanandan lauded the services of leading NRI entrepreneur M A Yusafali in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table and working out an mutually acceptable solution.

State minister for fisheries S Sharma who is the chairman of the Smart City project, chief secretary Prabhakaran, principal secretary to the chief minister Sheela Thomas were present at the function.

Smart City was envisaged in 2004 by then Congress-led UDF ministry as a major joint venture project which could generate thousands of jobs.

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Image: M A Yusafali.

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Kochi's Smart City project to become a reality

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The foundation-stone for the project was laid in 2007 by the present LDF government, but its work ran into problems over the Dubai-based partner TECOM's demand for freehold right over at least 12 per cent of the 246 acres of land acquired for the project.

Having settled the disputes resolved, state government and TECOM would jointly work to get the SEZ approval from the Centre at the earliest. TECOM would develop the entire 246 acres as an IT/ITES sector specific SEZ.


Image: Kerala Chief Minister, VS Achuthanandan, and he SmartCity Executive Director, Fareed Abdulrahman at the inaugural funaction in 2007.

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