Kochi Smart city lease deed singed

Kochi Smart city lease deed singedThe State government and the Tecom singed the lease deed for the proposed Smart city project here on Wednesday. Smart city board chairman, minister S Sarma and Abul Lathif Almulla, TECOM CEO signed the deed at the board of directors meet held here. Suresh Kumar IAS, IT principal secretary and industrialist MA Yousafali also attended the meeting. Two separate lease deeds covering the entire 246 acres. one for 131 acres and another for the rest of the 115-odd acres for the proposed Smart City Kochi project were signed.

After the meet Sarma said that all the confusions and apprehensions over the project are over now.

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Kochi Smart City Sign DeedTwo lease deeds to cover entire 246 acres of project area
: Surviving a difficult period marked by speculations over the fate of the project, the proposed SmartCity Kochi project will get off the blocks this Wednesday.

Two separate lease deeds covering the entire 246 acres — one for 131 acres and another for the rest of the 115-odd acres — will be signed on Wednesday. K. Suresh Kumar, IT Principal Secretary, and Abdullatif Almulla, CEO of Tecom Investments Group, the parent company of the promoters of the project, will be the signatories.

Both the parties had agreed on the lease deeds, which the Cabinet had also cleared. Ahead of signing the fresh lease deed, the one that expired will be cancelled.

The land will also be registered in the name of SmartCity Kochi Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, the special purpose vehicle formed for the execution of the project. The government will provide registration and stamp duty exemptions as agreed at a meeting held earlier this month. The board meeting and lease deed signing was originally scheduled to be held last Wednesday. But it had to be postponed at the last minute after Mr. Almulla's son met with an accident and had to undergo an emergency surgery.

Real Estate in Kochi ready to flourish

Real Estate KochiProperty developers in Kochi can look forward to brighter prospects with the International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam being inaugurated and the hurdles cleared for the realisation of the SmartCity project.

The Rs.2,500-crore Cyber City project in the private sector will be another propellant of demand for commercial and housing property.

There has been a delay of four years in reaching the agreement on SmartCity, but the State's economy will turn upwards with the kind of development taking place, especially the Vallarpadam terminal, says Najeeb Zakaria, president, Kochi branch of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India.

Kochi Cyber City by HDIL to be launched today

Kochi Cyber City ModelThe HDIL Cyber City, a Rs.2,300-crore IT park project which will add to Kochi’s IT dreams, will be launched on Thursday by Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem.

The project is coming up in an area of 70 acres of land at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Kalamassery. Blue Star Realtors Private Ltd, a subsidiary of the Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) is the promoter of the project. The officials said 70 percent of the total built-up area was dedicated to IT infrastructure.

The project is designed to be completed in three phases. The first phase will cover the development of 2 million sq ft of IT space and it will be completed in three years. The HDIL Cyber City is expected to generate as many as 60,000 direct jobs and 1.5 lakh indirect jobs. The HDIL officials are consulting various IT firms to set up their establishments here.

ICTT Inauguration - Cochin Port - Video

Tecom delegates postpone visit to Kerala

TECOM delegates who were scheduled to reach Kerala today, to sign the lease agreement on the Smart City project at Kochi have postponed their visit. The visit was postponed due to the inconvenience of Tecom CEO Abdu Latif Al Mulla.

Tecom authorities informed that the date of their next visit will be informed later. The meeting is being held to discuss the outcome of talks held between the state Government and Tecom and will take measures to start the construction work at the earliest.

TECOM key to success of Smart City Kochi project

TECOM key to success of Smart City Kochi projectDubai has become part of Kerala's growth story with the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) going on stream and the Smart City project getting ready for take off. Dubai has already been indirectly contributing to the development of the state by providing jobs to 350,000 people. The remittances they send have been playing a big role in sustaining the state's economy.

But economists feel that the direct investment of Rs16 billion by DP World in the ICTT at Cochin port and an estimated investment of Rs20 billion by TECOM in the Smart City at Kakkanad may help the state to catch the industrialisation bus it has missed. The ICTT inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday has already attracted investment worth billions in several sectors. The investment in support infrastructure like rail and road links, warehousing, container freight stations alone is worth more than Rs26 billion.

The Cochin Port Trust's project to link ICTT with the state's main trading centres of Aleppey, Kottayam, Quilon and Kannur through inland waterways is also expected to attract substantial investment in barging. The CPT has already set up Ro-Ro terminals at Bolgatty and Willingdon Islands.

The port-based special economic zone being developed at Vallarpadam as part of the ICTT is also expected to bring in investment worth Rs75 billion. The other port-related projects in various stages of implementation are the Rs30 billion LNG Terminal at Puthuvypeen, Rs7.5 billion each single buoy mooring project of Cochin Refineries Limited (CRL) and the Cochin-Kannur-Bangalore gas pipeline of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and Rs3 billion cruise terminal.

PM inaugurates Vallarpadam Container Terminal

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated to the nation the Rs 3,200-crore International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at nearby Vallarpadam, a major expansion project of Cochin Port Trust. The rail and road projects were also inaugurated by the prime minister.

Governor R S Gavai, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, Defence Minister A K Antony, Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, Union Ministers Prof K V Thomas, Dr C P Joshy, G K Vasan, Mukul Roy, E Ahamed, Mullappally Ramachandran, K C Venugopal, Kochi Port Trust chairman N Ramachandran took part in the inaugural function. Representatives from Dubai led by D P World chairman Sultan Ahamed bin Sulyaminray attended the function.
Dr Singh in his inaugural speech said the Vallarpadam terminal will develop the district. He opined that along with the project, the water transport should be given importance.

Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, who spoke on the occasion, requested the PM to take personal interest in fulfilling the Kochi metro and Palakaad railway coach factory projects.

PM to inaugurate Kochi international container terminal tomorrow

India's first International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT) in the Special Economic Zone at nearby Vallarpadam Island is all set to be dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

The total cost of the first and second phase of the terminal is pegged at around Rs 6,250 crore. When completed, the terminal will be able to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of cargo per annum. The first phase of the project is ready to handle one million TEUs per annum.

The project will be operated by Dubai Port World (DPW) and aims to make Kochi a key centre in the shipping world, reducing India's dependence on foreign ports to handle trans-shipment requirements, Cochin Port sources said.

Once fully developed, the ICTT, a part of the expansion project at the Cochin Port, would be the largest individual terminal in India. As part of the project, India's longest railway bridge -- 4.62 km long -- was set up over the Vembanad Lake, thereby establishing rail connectivity to Vallarpadam from the mainland.

Port sources said ICTT will generate additional employment opportunities, facilitate investment flow to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore and help in the development of port-based industries to transform Kochi into an economic hub. However, the project is being commissioned at a time when the 326 families that were evicted for setting up the terminal at Vallarpadam are yet to get a roof over their head. Former Supreme Court Judge V R Krishna Iyer has said the move to commission the project without rehabilitating the evictees was 'shameful'.
In an effort to expedite the construction work of Smart City Kochi, a team led by the CEO of Tecom Investments group Abdullatif Al Mulla will arrive in the state soon.
The director board of Smart City Kochi will meet within a few days to discuss the outcome of talks held between the state government and Tecom.

The director board will also approve various decisions related to the Smart City.
Fresh lease agreements will have to be signed between the state government and Tecom. As only 136 acres of the 246 acres have got the special economic zone status (SEZ), two separate agreements will have to be signed to lease out the two plots of 136 acres and 100 acres, respectively.

It is a prerequisite to start the construction work.

The Tecom authorities, in a press release issued in Dubai, said they would soon take steps to complete the master plan of the project.

"We are extremely happy that the project is moving forward. As mentioned in the past, the project is bigger than any issues surrounding it and the recent decisions were taken in the larger interest of the project and various stakeholders associated with it. The recent development is a reflection of our vision for Smart City Kochi and the commitment to the people of Kerala," Abdullatif Al Mulla said in the press release.
He said the immediate priority of Tecom is to sign the lease agreement for the designated land and secure the SEZ status.

Tecom welcomes progress in SmartCity Kochi project

Tecom welcomes progress in SmartCity Kochi projectTecom Investments, the promoters of SmartCity, has welcomed the progress made in the SmartCity Kochi project in resolving the deadlock which had derailed the project for over three years. The SmartCity Board Members will soon be visiting Kerala to take forward the initiative.

In a statement, Abdullatif AlMulla Group CEO, Tecom Investments said, “We are extremely happy that the project is moving forward. As mentioned in the past, the project is bigger than any issues surrounding it and the recent decisions were taken in the larger interest of the project and various stakeholders associated with it. The recent development is a reflection of our vision for SmartCity Kochi and commitment to the people of Kerala.”

“Our immediate priority is to sign the lease agreement to secure the designated land for the project which will lead to the mission critical SEZ notification of the land. We are in the process of finalising the documentation for land registration as well as putting a process in place for the master plan work to commence”, added AlMulla. He was among the UAE delegation led by Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, Member Supreme Council for Dubai World Group & Dubai Holding Group that met the Chief Minister on February 02, 2011.

Vallarpadam container terminal to be inaugurated on Feb 11

Vallarpadam container terminal to be inaugurated on Feb 11  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh willdedicate to the nation on February 11 the Rs 3,200-croreInternational Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at nearbyVallarpadam, a major expansion project of Cochin Port Trust.

Dubai Ports World (DPW), the terminal''s operator, hadcompleted construction of the modern terminal which would havestate-of-the-art cargo handling equipment, Cochin Port TrustChairman N Ramachandran told reporters here.

As per the agreement between CPT and DPW, the constructionof the terminal, its equipment and operations would be theresponsibility of DPW while the port would ensure road andrail connectivity to the project site and deepening of theshipping channels.

Emke group to invest Rs 600 cr in hotel cum convention centre in Kochi

Kochi International Convention CentreAbu Dhabi-based Emke group will invest Rs 600 crore to set up a convention centre and hotel in Kerala.

The convention centre and hotel complex is coming up in 26 acre land nearby Bolghatty.

"Talks are on with three Internationl hotel chains -- Ritz Carlton, Hyatt and Hilton group for the 7,000-room hotel complex", Chairman M A Yusuf Ali told at a press conference organised by the Ernakulam Press club here.

"Within a month, we will finalise it and by April, the work would start", he siad.

About 4,000 people would get direct employment once the hotel-cum convention centre is completed.

Kerala is a investment-friendly state, he said, besides the Rs 600 crore project, work on the Rs 1,500-crore shopping mall, claimed to be the biggest in the country, is also fast coming up here.

Eighty per cent of the work in the mall has been completed and by January next, the work is expected to start in full swing, he said.

Yusuf Ali, who has been appointed by the state government to iron out differences with the Dubai-based Tecom, promoters of the Kochi Smart city project, said he was happy that he could convince the Dubai government about the feasiblity of the Rs 1,500-crore IT infrastructure project.

Kerala Cabinet approves Kochi SmartCity treaty

Kerala Cabinet approves Kochi SmartCity treatyThe much-awaited yet delayed Smart City project is all set to to take off in Kochi.

The main hurdles which had been holding up the work on Kerala’s dream project for about four years were thrashed out by the state government and Tecom Investments officials here on Wednesday morning.

This followed talks held here between Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Ahmed Humaid Al Tayar, governor of Dubai International Financial Centre.

Achuthanandan said that Tecom would be given freehold right on 12 per cent land but within the 246 acres which has been notified as special economic zone. This would mean that the promoters will not have the right to sell the land. Tecom’s insistence on getting the 12 per cent freehold land outside the 246 acres was the main object of disagreement between the two sides for the last three years.

It was the mediatory role played by NRI businessman M A Yusuffali that paved the way for the deal which was being projected by the Opposition UDF as a mascot of the LDF government’s inefficiency.
Smartcity Kochi - will become reality 2011The CPM-led Left Democratic Front Wednesday reached an understanding with Tecom, the promoters of Smart City project which has been hanging fire for the past several years over the freehold land clause.

The LDF government and Chief Minister V.S. Schuthanandan who was staunchly opposed to providing freehold land have now reached an agreement to allow freehold rights in 12 per cent of the land earmarked for the project inside the Special Economic Zone.

The original framework agreement inked by Infoparks and Tecom Investment FZ-LLC and Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure Private Limited had a clause which stated that the promoters are entitled for freehold land.

Clause 5.4 under Article 5 states: "Upon completion of master plan that determines different plots amongother things, SPV will identify plots to be converted to freehold and such plots will be converted to free hold by GoK forthwith without any further consideration or charges. Cumulative area of the plots converted to freehold will not exceed 12 % of the total land area at any point of time."

But there was lack of clarity whether the freehold land would be inside the area marked as SEZ or outside.

The government argument is that promoters will not be able to sell the freehold land which falls inside the Special Economic Zone.

The framework agreement was for declaring the entire area consisting of 246 acres of the project as Special Economic Zone (SEZ). But the Central Board of Approval for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) accorded SEZ status to an area of 136 acres of the 236 acre earmarked for the Smart City project.The reason being that the remaining area is separated by a water body and needs a separate application.

Today’s meet may end deadlock of Smartcity Kochi

A breakthrough in the deadlock over the Smart City Kochi project is likely on Wednesday with the Governments of Kerala and Dubai having a one to one discussion. A delegation led by member of Supreme Committee for Dubai World Group and Dubai Holding Group Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer will be holding a meeting with Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan at his official residence at 12 noon. It will be followed by a formal meeting at the Mascot Hotel here.

Highly placed sources in the State Government said that the Government would be offering free hold rights over 12 percent of the total land earmarked for the project, but within the special economic zone. The delegation representing the Dubai Government is likely to accept this.

NRK businessman M A Yusuf Ali had already held deliberations with the Dubai Government representatives. Yusuf Ali is also likely to be part of the Dubai Government delegation. The Dubai Government delegation will also include TECOM group chief executive officer Abdul Latif Al Mulla and deputy chief executive officer of SmartCity Kochi Adnan Chilwan. ‘’If an understanding is reached on Wednesday’s meeting, the construction works for the SmartCity Kochi project could begin in another month,’’ IT Secretary Suresh Kumar said.

The SmartCity