Koch: A fresh lease agreement for the much
delayed rs 1700 crore Kochi Smartcity, an IT infrastructure
project being jointly promoted by Kerala Government and Dubai
based Tecom Investments group, which envisages direct
employment to about 90,000 persons, was signed here Wednesday.
The agreement for the entire 246 acres of the project land
was signed between Tecom Investments group CEO Abdullatif
AlMulla and state IT Secretary, K Suresh Kumar in the presence
of Kerala fisheries minister and Kochi Smartcity chairman, S
Later talking to reporters Sharma said all all measures
have been completed to start the project on a war footing.
Construction will begin as soon as the SEZ notification is
issued by the central government.
The SEZ notification for about 131 acres is expected within
two to three weeks, he said.
Abdullatif AlMulla said the director board meeting was
`fruitful` and `positive` and the board was very much
supportive of the project. Once the SEZ notification comes
through, the work would start immediately, he said. A
preliminary masterplan was presented before the board today by
Tecom and a detailed master plan would be presented at the
next director board meeting, he said.
The agreement was registered later.
SmartCity CEO Fareed Abdulrahman, who had been representing
the company, was not present.
AlMullah had earlier this month said in Dubai that their
immediate priority was to sign the lease agreement to
secure the designated land for the project.
`We are quite optimistic that we will be able to complete
this project as planned and are confident of fulfilling all
the time bound contractual obligations mentioned in the
Framework Agreement`, he had stated.
The foundation stone for the project was laid in in May
2007. The project was in a limbo after that following
differences over the issue over 12 per cent free hold.
Government was prepared to give the free hold land only inside
the SEZ, which was not agreeable to Tecom.
However, the issue was settled last month 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 at Thiruvananthapuram.
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.
The 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 on the project to start without