Dubai Internet City finally gives nod for Smart City

Dubai Internet City finally gives nod for Smart City

Thiruvananthapuram, April 13 (IANS) The Rs.15 billion ($350 million) Smart City project at Kochi will soon become reality as its developer Dubai Internet City (DIC) has finally agreed to the revised terms and conditions from the Kerala government.

The DIC through a fax to Kerala Chief Secretary Lissy Jacob has informed that they have agreed to all the conditions as laid down by the Kerala government, Joseph C. Mathew, IT advisor to Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, told IANS Thursday.

"Now that the DIC has agreed to the terms of the government, I don't think there should be any more hassles. The other details like the date for inking the agreement would be worked out by the government," said Mathew.

The development is seen as a moral victory for Achuthanandan as he had earlier opposed the terms for the project worked out by the then the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government - a stance which was seen as anti-development.

As per the then chief minister Oommen Chandy's proposal, which was cleared by DIC, the already developed Infopark campus in Kochi was to be transferred to DIC.

Chandy had also agreed that no new IT park would be allowed in Ernakulam district by the government after the agreement with the DIC was inked.

Also, DIC was to create 33,000 jobs in 10 years.

After assuming power in May 2006, Achuthanadan stood his ground and after three rounds of discussion with DIC here he maintained that there would be no freehold given to DIC in the 248 acres land and the firm would have to pay Rs.1.04 billion for it.

He also insisted that Infopark would not be handed over to it and demanded an assurance for creation of 90,000 jobs.

More importantly, he also maintained DIC would have no say about other IT ventures that might come up in Kochi.

"For the past two days DIC officials were talking with government officials and the chief minister was also kept informed with the developments. Now there should be no more issues," added Mathew.

The SmartCity