Smart City Kochi: Two consultants short-listed

Giving impetus to the proposed Smart City project, a director board meeting of the company here on Wednesday short-listed two consultants for drawing up a master plan for the project. The names of the consultants would be announced as soon as the formalities in this regard are over.

“The short-listing of master planners for SmartCity Kochi is a defining step towards our commitment to the fulfilment of the project. The master plan will focus on creating complete business and community infrastructure keeping in mind the requirements of high-quality work environment for knowledge-based industries and the experience of a rich community lifestyle for its workers,” Fareed Abdulrahman, Chief Executive Officer of SmartCity, said.

The company had received proposals from four national and international players for preparing the master plan last year.

Though the lease agreement for the remaining 12 acres, which were excluded from the lease deed signed last November owing to the presence of inhabitants, was to be signed on Wednesday, it did not materialise.

The meeting inducted into the board as directors Anirudha Damkey, Director of Finance, Tecom Investments, and Ajay Kumar, Secretary, State Information Technology.

The company has taken steps for securing the Special Economic Zone status for the remaining 100 acres. In addition to this, efforts are being made to obtain another 167 acres for future development of the project.

The Board decided to participate in the forthcoming OutsourceWorld Exhibition in London to promote Kochi as a major centre of Information Technology and IT Enabled Services. Kochi will be showcased to the world as a hub for knowledge-based excellence.


Second Director Board meeting of SmartCity kochi held

SmartCity Kochi, a self-sustained township for the knowledge-based Industry, today conducted its second Board of Directors' meeting in which a lease agreement for additional land was signed, two Board Directors were appointed and as many master planners short-listed for the project here.

Kerala Fisheries Minister and Board of Directors Chairman S Sarma and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SmartCity Fareed Abdul Rehman signed a lease agreement for an additional twelve acres of land for the project.

Recently, the Board for approval of Special Economic Zone(SEZ) at the Centre had accorded SEZ status for 136 acres of land and steps were initiated to obtain the same status for the remaining 100 acres of land, which had in-principle SEZ approval of the Board.

The Board, which met to take stock of the recent developments and to decide on the future course of action under the Chairmnaship of Mr Sarma, also short-listed two master planners for the project.

Mr Fareed said '' the shortlisting of the master planners was a defining moment and they will focus on creating a complete business and community infrastructure for the project.'' The Board had also decided to induct Director of Finance TECOM Investments Anirudh Damkey and Secretary to Department of IT Ajay Kumar as new members.

The first Directors' board meeting was held on December, 2007.

The Vice-Chairman Abdul Lateef Almulla, Project Director Babu George, Business Development Officer Deepak Padmanabhan and Jamal Abdul Salam, were among others present on the occasion.

The Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan laid the foundation stone for the multi-crore project, promoted jointly by Dubai-based Tecom and the State Government, on November 16 last year.

Smart City Kochi 3D Model The board of directors of the proposed Rs.15-billion Smart City project here in Kerala late Wednesday evening decided that the work on the project would commence in October 2008.

Addressing reporters here after the three-hour long meeting, chairman of the board and state Fisheries Minister S. Sarma said the consultancy for the preparation of the master plan would be agreed upon within the next 10 days.

Dubai Internet City (DIC) officials, who will be building city, were also present at the second full board meeting of the Smart City project after the agreement was inked last May.

'Work will begin in October. We have now got special economic zone (SEZ) status for 100 acres of the total 246 acres. We will try and get the SEZ status for remaining area also,' Sarma said.

The project was finally cleared last May, nearly three years after it was first mooted. When complete, it would have 8.8 million square feet of building, of which 70 percent would be for IT and IT-enabled services.

The second director board meeting of Smart City will be held at the Taj Malabar here on Wednesday at 5 pm.

All director board members are expected to attend the meeting. Fisheries Minister S Sarma who is the chairman of Smart City Kochi, IT secretary Ajayakumar, Tecom chief executive officer Abdul Lathif Al Mulla who is the vice-chairman of the Smart City, executive director of Smart City Fareed Abdul Rahman, Dubai Internet City director Jamal Abdul Salam and project director Baju George will attend the meeting.

The lease agreement for the remaining 11.5 acres of land for the Smart City project is expected to be signed during the meeting. The master planer for preparing the master plan of the Smart City will also be finalised during the board meeting.

Tecom officials have not yet submitted an application to the Union Government for approving the 100 acres land acquired from the KSEB, as Special Economic Zone.

The first director board meeting of Smart City was held on December 2007. But the registration of the 234.5 acres land handed over by the government to Tecom on November 15 2007 had not been conducted as the State Government has not exempted stamp duty and registration fee.
Kerala Private bus soon tracked through global positioning system (GPS)Private buses in Kerala will soon be tracked through global positioning system (GPS) and passengers will get all the information they need virtually on their fingertips.

The Kerala State Bus Operators Federation, with a fleet of 20,000 buses plying across the southern state, has hired fleet management services provider Dhanus to install the automatic vehicle locator and asset protection system.

Both passengers and service operators will be able to track buses on a specific route, its timings and other details on their computers or on mobile handsets using a web-interface or a mobile WAP interface.

Within a year, the entire fleet of the KBOF will be equipped with the tracking system that helps monitor the buses constantly by sending real time information.

When a bus meets with an accident, a message is sent automatically.
“With this initiative, transport owners in Kerala will be able to provide passengers with instant information on the location, arrival and departure timings of every bus via the Internet and SMS,” A D Sudhindra, executive chairman of Dhanus Technologies, said.

A gadget costing Rs30,000 is installed on bus which can then be trackeded via satellite and the information about the vehicle can be made available in almost all Indian languages.

“Close to 85% of the buses in the state are operated by KBOF members and this initiative will ensure that both regular passengers and tourists have accurate bus schedule information on their finger tips,” KBOA president A K Abdullah said.

“This technology would be a boon for passengers and operators who will benefit from the real time tracking information system. It’ll also help us make the operations cost-effective,” Abdullah said.

It even allows the operators to monitor the fuel tank.
An LED display screen placed in the bus would display in English and Malayalam details such as the next stop and the distance and time that would take to reach the destination.

“It will be extremely useful at times of breakdowns and accidents. It also helps increase passenger safety by keeping a check on the speed. Dhanus would be offering a web interface in Malayalam, Hindi and English, enabling access to both natives and foreigners,” Abdullah said.

The bus operators also expect to generate additional revenue by allowing advertisers to reach their target customers through static and dynamic advertising content, including audio visual elements which can be displayed in the buses.


The SmartCity