Kochi: Contrary to some reports, Tecom Officials have reiterated their commitment to the proposed SmartCity project in Kochi and according to them; the project is still on track. Meanwhile, the Kerala Government has expressed its unhappiness and concern about the tardy progress of the Rs.2,000 crore SmartCity Kochi project which has been in limbo for years.
“The SmartCity Kochi project in Kerala will continue to remain a direct part of the Tecom portfolio under my supervision and not Dubai Holding, as mentioned in some reports. I will continue to retain my position at Tecom”, said Abdul Latif Al Mulla, CEO, Tecom Investments in Dubai. He had recently joined the Dubai Holding as Chief Business Development Officer.
Al Mulla’s statement came the same day when Kerala Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy said, “The State Government has informed Tecom about its stand that the progress of the work is not enough. The work of the project is not progressing as per the time-frame announced earlier this year.”
The finalisation of the master-plan of the project and the launch of construction of the first phase has been pending for some time now. Tecom plans to take final decision based on whether the project will get single SEZ notification. But the State Government wants Tecom to launch the construction on the area already notified as SEZ without wasting any more time.
According to Dr. Baju George, MD, SmartCity Kochi, “The important thing is to get single SEZ status for the entire project containing 246 acres of land but as of now only 132 acres has been notified as SEZ.” A crucial meeting of the Board of Approval (BoA) of SEZ under the Union Commerce Ministry is scheduled on January 18, 2013 is expected to decide on this issue.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Board of Directors of SmartCity Kochi will be held in January. It will be the first meeting to be held in Dubai, at the request of Tecom, to facilitate the attendance of important officials of the Dubai Government and Dubai Holding.
Kerala IT News