Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai-based SmartCity Fareed Abdulrahman will arrive in the State on September 9. His visit is expected to revive hopes of making some headway in the stalemate that had brought the proposed SmartCity Kochi project to a halt.

Mr. Abdulrahman would hold talks with Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan in Thiruvananthapuram on what SmartCity regards as “pending issues.”

The Cabinet had entrusted Ms. Gangadharan to report on ways to make progress in the implementation of the project.

Mr. Fareed is expected to emphasise on incorporating in the fresh lease various provisions in the Framework Agreement that SmartCity signed with the State government in May 2007.

This included adding of “unacquired patta land” of 19 cents (0.08 hectare) located at the centre of a land measuring 114 acres (46 hectares) and more importantly incorporating a clause pertaining to 12 per cent freehold land.

He would also raise the perceived confusion regarding the 100 acres of KSEB land handed over for the project and acquiring Special Economic Zone status for it.

SmartCity had made it clear that any progress of the project hangs on the outcome of the discussions with the Chief Secretary. It had also ruled out holding a meeting of the board of directors unless a decision was reached on these pending issues.

After the fifth meeting of the board of directors held on December 22 last year and thereafter Mr. Abdulrahman’s visit to meet Chief Minister on February 19, hardly any official communication had taken place between the stakeholders except for the statements in the media from either side.

Things seemed to be appeared back on track when on February 23, Mr. Abdulrahman issued a press release hailing the statement of Fisheries Minister S. Sarma, who is also the chairman of SmartCity Kochi, to the effect that the State government was ready to sign the fresh lease agreement at any time as the promoters desired. But thereafter things petered out.



SmartCity Kochi invited for talks

Registration Minister S. Sarma says the State government has invited officials of the SmartCity for discussions from September 7 to September 10.


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