Smart City will be a reality: Achuthanandan
Thursday, 21 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala's proposed Smart City project to be built by the Dubai Internet City (DIC) will soon become a reality, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said here on Thursday. "Talks are going on and there are a few more things to be sorted, and it will be done," Achuthanandan told reporters after a cabinet meeting. The chief minister said a section of the media owing allegiance to the previous government had been spreading canards that the proposed Smart City project in Kochi would not come up. The talks between the Kerala government and DIC officials have been deadlocked for a few months. A DIC team came here in August to revive the proposed 15 billion Smart City project after signing the memorandum of understanding with the Oommen Chandy government in October 2005. Achuthanandan as the opposition leader (2001-06) vehemently opposed the transfer of the existing Infopark campus at Kochi to DIC, a part of the deal Chandy had agreed to. "The previous government had agreed for the transfer of the Infopark campus at Kochi to DIC and also agreed that no more IT projects would be allowed in Kochi. We have changed that," said the chief minister. As per the new proposal, Kerala would lease around 210 acres of land to DIC for around 800 million ($17.2 million) and no free land would be given to them. In another development, 136 acres of land Chandy had cleared for handing over to DIC will be instead handed to Infopark for its expansion.