SmartCity: Talks still on with Tecom, says Kerala CM

Kerala CM VS Achuthanandan Tuesday said the Govt had not terminated negotiations with Dubai-based Tecom for developing SmartCity IT park at Kochi.

Last Updated: Jun 29, 2010, 13:21 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister V S
Achuthanandan Tuesday said the Government had not terminated
negotiations with Dubai-based Tecom for developing SmartCity
IT park at Kochi and the option of choosing another partner
would be thought of only as a last resort.

The Chief Minister’s statement, made in the state Assembly,
came close on the heels of Tecom officials assertion during
the SmartCity board meeting at Kochi yesterday that the
company would not shy away from a legal battle if the
government went to court for arbitration.

Replying to questions on the long-dragging project,
Achuthanandan said negotiations with Tecom were still on and
the question of going for an alternative partner would arise
only as a last option.

He, however, reiterated that there was no question of
yielding to the Dubai company`s demands such as free-hold
right for part of the land since they were outside the
original agreement.

He sought to dismiss suggestions from the Congress-led
opposition that the state was losing the prospect of about
90,000 direct jobs promised to be created through the project.

The Government on its own had taken steps to create
thousands of jobs by strengthening existing facilities like
Infopark at Kochi and creating fresh IT infrastructure across
the state. Since the LDF Government came to power, projects
worth Rs 10,000 crore had been initiated out of which Rs 2000
crore was direct government investment, he said.

In the last four years, the IT sector`s growth in Kerala had
been three times higher than the national average. It was
significant that the IT sector in Kerala maintained the growth
trend even during the global recession, he added.

PTI