Kerala's Smart City project to be inked Sunday

Friday, 11 May 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Thiruvananthapuram : The 15 billion ($350 million) Smart City project at Kochi would finally be inked with its developer Dubai Internet City (DIC) Sunday nearly three years after it was first mooted, officials said Friday.

Senior DIC officials will arrive here Sunday and will finalise the deal, a state official said on conditions of anonymity.

The development is seen as a moral victory for Chief Minister Achuthanandan as he had earlier opposed the terms for the project worked out by the then Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government.

The deal gains importance as it comes a week ahead of Achuthanandan celebrating his government's first anniversary. The agreement with DIC is totally different from the one proposed by the previous Chandy government.

It does not include transfer of the Infopark campus at Kochi, which had been agreed upon by Chandy. While Chandy had agreed to sell 236 acres of land at a cost of 26 crores (260 million) and given DIC full ownership, Achuthanandan made them agree to 246 acres of land at a cost of 106 crores (1.06 billion), which would be given on leasehold terms for 99 years.

Further, Chandy had agreed upon 33,000 new jobs being created by the Smart City, but Achuthanandan increased it to be 90,000 jobs.
Source: IANS
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