Smart City Kochi should not be delayed any further: Infosys chief Kris GopalakrishnanInfosys Technologies chief executive Kris Gopalakrishnan Friday asked the Kerala government to take quick steps to solve the hurdles that stand in the way of the Rs.1,500-crore ($316 million) Smart City IT project, to come up in Kochi.

His statement comes days after Smart City Dubai, the developer of the project, gave an ultimatum to the state government to sort out the land dispute surrounding it before the end of the year.

"I am not aware of the project details, but this delay is not going to help the project. The government should soon finalise its decision," Gopalakrishnan said.

He was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting on infrastructure development in the state, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Smart City project, whose foundation stone was laid Nov 16, 2007 by Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, has not seen any progress since then.

Smart City Dubai June 1 demanded the government give a "firm assurance" regarding the free-hold rights on 12 percent of the project land, which amounts to 39 acres.

The Dubai-based company's chief executive, Fareed Abdul Rehman, told reporters in Kochi that the firm would pull out of the project if the issue was not settled before Dec 31 this year.

Gopalakrishnan, however, expressed satisfaction with the government's decision to set up IT parks in all district headquarters.

"This would mean world class infrastructure is created and it would be good not only for the IT industry but also for nano-technology and bio-technology," he said.

According to the Infosys chief, new models of infrastructure development are the need of the hour.

"India is behind in use of technology and a lot of catching up has to be done. Both the state and centre should support infrastructure companies that provide all facilities," added Gopalakrishnan.



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