Congress backs Kochi infotech project

Thursday, December 9, 2010

THRISSUR - With the Kerala government trying to revive the much delayed Kochi infotech project, the opposition Congress Thursday said it was ready to play any role in its successful completion.

The foundation stone for the Rs.1,500 crore ($335 million) Smart City Kochi IT project was laid three years ago. Smart City Dubai was supposed to develop the project in an area of 246 acres near the airport.

All that has happened after that are 22 board meetings of Smart City Kochi. The Kerala government has made it clear that it would not give Smart City Dubai 12 percent freehold rights in the project area which it is adamant on.

Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Oommen Chandy told reporters here Thursday that the delay was unpardonable.

“We are ready to do anything to see that this project becomes a reality simply because of the huge pool of educated youth that our state produces. For more than nine months, this project was held up on the ground that no tax exemption would be granted on the Rs.16 crore stamp duty and the latest delay is on account of giving freehold status to Smart City Dubai,” he said.

“This project should not be seen as just any other project because if we give land to anyone, we can get investors. But this is a project of the Dubai government and this must become a reality and from our part, we are prepared to do anything,” said Chandy.

The state government last week asked veteran UAE-based Keralaite tycoon M.A. Yousuf Ali to act as its representative and hold talks with Smart City Dubai officials.

The company, in turn, told Ali in the first round of talks that the state government’s knee-jerk responses would not resolve the matter.

They maintain that the framework agreement was crystal clear regarding freehold rights.

–Indo Asian News Service

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