SmartCity kochi: families to relocate soon

The owners of the land identified for the proposed SmartCity project are learnt to have agreed to relocate by the end of this month.

The authorities reached an informal agreement with the families living on a portion of the136 acres of land identified for the project at Edachira at a meeting held recently.

The families would leave after the Ramzan festival is over.

The promoters of the project, however, had taken a cautious approach, as it was not sure that the families would not backtrack in the last minute since the agreement was an informal one.

On the other hand the promoters were buoyed by renewed urgency by Fisheries Minister S. Sarma, who is also the chairman of SmartCity Kochi, to remove the various roadblocks in the implementation of the project.

Registration of land in the name of the promoters of the project and SEZ notification would not happen until the inhabitants were moved out. If this agreement materialises, 136 acres would be free of all obstacles to receive SEZ notification.

Though land had been identified and houses were being constructed for their rehabilitation, the inhabitants were yet to move out citing the non-completion of houses.

They have had already been given about seven months to shift.

The presence of inhabitants was one of the lingering obstacles that had been delaying the notification of the Board of Approval of the Union government for SEZ on the 136 acres.

The land forms part of the 236 acres included in the lease agreement between the promoters of SmartCity and the State government in last November.

Though the land had received in principal approval of the Board, the award of SEZ becomes formal only when the notification is issued.

One of the preconditions for this is that the land must be free of inhabitants and constructions.

In the meantime, it is pointed out, that the government can go ahead and declare waiver of stamp and registration duties ahead of the SEZ notification since the land had already received the in principal approval for SEZ.

Sources said that such an announcement would help boost the confidence of the promoters who have had been frustrated by the lack of any tangible progress ever since the foundation stone for the project was laid last November.


The SmartCity