Arbitration will be our last resort: Smart City Dubai

The deadlock between the Kerala government and Smart City Dubai continued over the fate of the proposed Rs.1,500 crore Smart City Kochi project, with the latter making it clear that arbitration would be their last resort.

As expected, the 23rd board meeting of Smart City Kochi held here Friday, ended in 20 minutes only with no decision taken on the contentious issue of giving 12 percent free hold rights to Smart City Dubai - the builders of the project.

In the post-meeting press conference, the two parties continued to stick to their respective stands.

"What matters to us is to maintain good relations and hence we expect that a solution will come out. The question of going legal or to an arbitrator is our last resort," said Smart City Dubai and Smart City Kochi CEO Fareed Abdulrahman.

He also clarified that UAE-based businessman M.A. Yousuf Ali, who held talks with them, is not a mediator but only a government representative.

However, Smart City Kochi chairman and State Fisheries Minister S. Sarma said: "The talks between Ali and Smart City Dubai is progressing well. But the government, under no cost, will deviate from the policy decision that no land in the project can be sold. We expect that in two weeks time, we will get a reply from them."

It was more than three years back that the foundation stone for the project was laid and since then no progress has been made over the issue of granting 12 percent free hold rights to the builders outside of the 246 acres of the proposed project site.


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