Smart City Kochi construction work to start next month [November]

Dubai’s Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (TECOM) will start construction work next month on a $385mn IT park in Kerala, officials said yesterday.

The foundation stone would be laid in the first week of November for the Rs15bn Smart City project near Kochi, said Joseph Mathew, information technology consultant to the state government.

“Smart City will become a reality soon. The government will hand over 246 acres of land to TECOM, promoters of the project,” Mathew said.
Kerala signed a memorandum of understanding with TECOM to develop the Smart City last May.

The project aims to create 90,000 new jobs within 10 years in a state where 4mn under 35 are unemployed among a population of 31.8mn.

Senior district administrator Hanish Mohamed said the government would grant the land on a 99-year lease and provide water, power and a four-lane highway to Smart City, a joint venture which will run the project.

The Kerala government will have a 26% stake and three seats, including the chair, on a 10-member board.

TECOM public relations manager Baiju Francis said the new zone would be located at Kakkanad.
Some 70% of the space would be devoted to IT and IT-related activities and the remainder given over to commercial use, including retail, a residential complex, hotels and recreational facilities.

Smart City is a joint venture between TECOM Investments and SAMA Dubai, part of the Dubai Holding group, set up in March 2007 to develop and manage knowledge industry townships worldwide.

Smart City also sealed an agreement with the government of Malta to establish Smart City Malta last April. “Kochi Smart City is our second such venture,” Francis said.

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