A high-level team of Dubai-based Tecom, which is partnering the Kerala government for SmartCity, is arriving here next week to sort out various issues pertaining to the project.

Though the foundation stone for the project was laid a year ago, civil work is yet to begin. Moreover, it is alleged that Tecom is trying to delay the implementation due to world economic turmoil.

However, Fareed Abdulrahman, CEO of SmartCity, says, “Our immediate priority is to obtain stamp duty exemption and secure SEZ status for SmartCity to enable us to begin the construction. We have been and will continue to do everything in our hands to remove the bottlenecks and expedite the project.”

The proposed land for the project is divided by a river and, therefore, requires two separate approvals for SEZ status. Currently, the project has SEZ status only for 134 acres. The approval for the other 100 acres of Brahmapuram land, which has Kerala State Electricity Board's installations, is pending with the Centre.

The Tecom officials will be meeting the district collector and the core committee members to discuss issues related to cost sharing for relocating the installation and other structures on the 100 acres.

Meanwhile, SmartCity has, in principle, agreed to relocate the PWD road inside the project land at its own cost. However, this is yet to be approved by the board members. The company has proposed to lay an alternative road.

Further, SmartCity Kochi has already approached the district administration to acquire approximately 19 cents of the land located in the heart of the 100-acre land parcel, which was not part of the initial proposal.

Source

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