50 bn Hitech City to come up in Kochi

Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Thiruvananthapuram: Billed as the single biggest project in Kerala ever, the state government Monday inked a memorandum of understanding with Bangalore-based Sobha Developers for setting up a 50 billion (5,000 crore) Hitech City at Kochi.

"This is certainly the biggest ever project in Kerala and the state government would only act as a facilitator, and we have not given any freebies at all. Sobha Developers will bring in the entire investment," said Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem before the signing of the project.

The MoU was inked between T. Balakrishnan, principal secretary for industries and commerce and J.C. Sharma, managing director of Sobha Developers.

"This is a dream come true for me because I have been dreaming about this project for the past nearly four years. This is something that the country would be seeing for the first time," said P.N.C. Menon, chairman of Sobha Developers.

The Hitech City is to come up on a 400-acre plot at Kochi and would include a knowledge park, shopping malls, hotels, hospitality projects, shopping malls and educational institutions besides a residential complex.

"We would complete the project in eight years time. When complete it would provide direct jobs to 75,000 people," said Menon, who has been a builder par excellence with projects all across the country.

He added that a housing project for 600 poor families who are now living in the Marad village council is also part of the project.

"The 600 families would be selected from the poorest of the poor and would be given one apartment each which would be 850 sq ft with all amenities. This is part of our social responsibility.

"We already have taken over two villages in my home district in Palakkad where we take care of the health, housing and drinking water requirements and also provide free education to the poorest of the poor," said Menon, 59, who began in the construction industry in Oman almost three decades back.
Source: IANS
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