JB Group’s Rs 1,500-cr IT project for Kochi

ECONOMY BUREAU,financialexpress

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,MAR 13: It’s a “head I win - tail I win” toss for Kochi. Enter $1.7-billion JB Group from Hong Kong to Kerala this week with a Rs 1,500-crore IT project, giving a dicey twist to Dubai Tecom drama dragging over $300-SmartCity in Kochi.

A delegation representing the Bangkok-based infrastructure player JB Group has offered an IT city in Kochi on par with the Giga Space, that JB has set up in Pune. Against Dubai Tecom’s project offering 90,000 jobs in 10 years, the new entrants have offered one lakh jobs “within 36 months of signing the pact.”

“Chief minister VS Achuthanandan was positive, when we tabled our offer, seeking 100 acres land on 99-year lease,” Gautam Kanjilal, Infiniti Consulting Corporation told reporters, here. Land on lease for 99 years had exactly been sore spot between Tecom and the LDF government in Kerala. Kanjilal claims he has the goahead to comeback “within two weeks” with feasibility and technical reports.

If the DPR (detailed project report) is accepted, we expect to sign the agreement straightaway, instead of dithering over the MoU, claims the Infiniti Consulting Corporation team.

But it’s not necessarily exit Dubai-Tecom and its SmartCity project or vice versa, assures Gautam Kanjilal. “We are not bargain-hunters,” says Kartik Somaiah, Key Account Manager (Asia Pacific).

Smart City negotiations continuing in Kerala

Courtesy Gulf News
Published: 01/03/2007 12:00 AM (UAE)
By Akhel Mathew, Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has not received any reply from Dubai's Tecom Investments in connection with the Smart City project, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan yesterday said.

Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting, he said: "Some minor issues still persist but the board of Tecom may discuss the matter and inform us later."

The chief minister had earlier announced that major issues that hampered the implementation of the ambitious project were settled during the two marathon talks held between the state government representatives and a team from Tecom, promoters of the Smart City project in the Kerala commercial capital of Kochi, a few days ago.

The chief minister had gone a step further asserting that the spectre of the project slipping out of Kerala had vanished. He had claimed that a consensus would be reached before the assembly session to be held tomorrow.

After numerous occasions that gave the impression that the project might go to Karnataka or Andhra Pardesh which were trying to woo Tecom, the latest roadblock the project has hit is the Kerala Government's stand on the Dubai party's demand for land freehold (holding of the project land for life).

The SmartCity