Thiruvananthapuram: In a major investment
decision, Kerala Government Wednesday clinched an agreement
with the Dubai-based Telecom on setting up the SmartCity
IT project at Kochi.
The long-pending dispute between the two sides over the
land ownership issues of project was settled at a discussion
held between Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan Dubai Holding
Company chairman and minister Muhammad bin Abdulla al Gargavi
The formula evolved at the discussions would be discussed
and approved by the state Cabinet this evening, official
The SmartCity project was envisaged in 2004 by then
Congress-led UDF ministry as a major joint venture which could
generate thousands of direct jobs.
The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2007 by the
present LDF Government, but its implementation ran into
problems over the Dubai-based partner`s demand for freehold
right over at least 12 per cent of the total 246 acres of land
acquired for the project.
After a phase of hard positioning over the issue by both
sides, the project was saved through a mediatory attempt
made by leading NRI entrepreneur M A Ysuufali, who
brought both sides to negotiating table.
After the talks, both sides the outstanding issues had
been resolved and the draft proposals would be discussed
by the cabinet approved today itself.