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 talks over the SmartCity Kochi project had been on a standstill over the past couple of years after the TECOM authorities insisted on free hold over 12 percent of the land, around 30 acres, outside the SEZ. The memorandum of understanding for the SmartCity project was signed

in May 2007 and a lease agreement for 246 acres of land for the project was signed in November 2007. However, the project could not take off owing to the free-hold issue.

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