SmartCity Kochi: Kerala Govt. ready for talks with Dubai promoters

The Kerala government said on Wednesday it is ready to talk with Dubai-based promoters over the Rs 1,500-crore (Rs 15-billion) Kochi SmartCity IT project, which has been delayed by over a year due to land acquisition problems.

The government has informed the Dubai-based Tecom authorities about the steps taken so far in this regard and that it was prepared to hold talks with the firm, chief minister V S Achuthanandan told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

The state government has maintained that Tecom was raising demands which were not in accordance with the agreement.

However, Tecom has said it will not wait beyond December 2010 and would be forced to rethink on the project.

Achuthanandan said the date for discussions with Tecom would be later decided. 'December is not a deadline, but it is a point past which we have to rethink about the future of the project', Smart city CEO Fareed Abdulrahaman had said.

Dispute over the 39 acres 'freehold land' out of 249 acres allotted for the project has delayed the project for which foundation stone was laid a year ago.

SmartCity insists that freehold land was a contractual right but government says it cannot give away land with selling rights to the promoters to make real estate gains.



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