The sixth meeting of the board of directors of the SmartCity Kochi will be held at the Taj Green Cove Resort at Kovalam on Wednesday at 6.30 p.m.

Fareed Abdulrahman, Chief Executive Officer, SmartCity, Rashid Lathif Almullah, Vice Chairman, SmartCity Kochi, Ravi Gill and Anirudha Dhamke, Directors, SmartCity, Mithun Beeru, Business Development Manager, SmartCity, Kochi, are expected to attend the meeting. Fisheries Minister S. Sarma, who is also the Chairman of SmartCity Kochi, State IT Secretary, Ajay Kumar, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, CEO, Infopark, are expected to represent the State government at the meeting.

The board is meeting after a long gap of nine months after differences over the issue of 12 per cent freehold land held up the progress of the project ever since the last board meeting held on December 21 last year. The meeting is being viewed as a precursor to the discussion between Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan and SmartCity officials scheduled to be held from Thursday. Major breakthroughs, if any, were expected at this meeting, it is learnt.

A two-day meeting that Ms. Gangadharan had with the SmartCity team led by Abdulrahman earlier this month had proved inconclusive. It was during this meeting that a decision was taken to convene the board meeting and to further continue the chief secretary-level talks immediately thereafter to iron out the differences.
Talks to solve the Smart City project remains inconclusive here on Thursday. Smart City CEO Fareed Abduraham looked positive after the talks on Wednesday. Though nothing has been decided, discussions with the TECOM officials may continue.

The Director Board of Smart City will meet on September 30.

The main issue was the 12 percent freehold land demanded by TECOM. The Government stated that some of the demands by TECOM were not convincing. After Wednesday's talk, the government sector feels that fresh talks may prove fruitful. For the government, minister S Sarma, IT secretary Ajayakumar, CM's principal secretary Sheela Thomas, chief secretary Neela Gangadharan and law secretary participated. The meet which began at 11 am concluded by noon.

Smart city Kochi : Talks to continue Thursday

Talks to solve the Smart city project would continue on Thursday as well. Smart City CEO Fareed Abduraham looks positive after the talks on Wednesday. The main issue was the 12 percent freehold land demanded by TECOM. The Government stated that some of the demands by TECOM were not convincing. After Wednesday's talk, the government sector feels that fresh talks may prove fruitful. For the government, minister S Sarma, IT secretary Ajayakumar, CM's principal secretary Sheela Thomas, chief secretary Neela Gangadharan and law secretary participated. The meet which began at 11 am concluded by noon.

Smart city: Crucial talks begin

Thiruvananthapuram: The crucial talk between the state government and Smart City officials to take forward the proposed Smart City Kochi software township project, began here on Wednesday.

On Tuesday chief minsiter V S Achuthanandan said that the existing lease agreement with TECOM that was signed long ago has expired and a new agreement will have to be worked out, and for that talks will resume on Wednesday with them here,' said Achuthanandan.

The chief minister had laid the foundation stone of the Rs.1,500-crore ($316-million) IT township project Nov 16, 2007, but there has been no progress since then.

In June, the Dubai firm said it had withdrawn a contract given to the Britain-based master planner Collin Buchanan to develop the Kochi project.

The statement had come two weeks after it requested the state government to ensure 12 percent of the project land be made freehold.

'Yes, we are committed to the 12 percent freehold aspect but some of their other demands are not that convincing. But nevertheless whatever we can resolve through talks we will do,' added Achuthanandan who also handles the IT portfolio.

The proposed project, to be jointly launched by the state government and Smart City Dubai, is slated to come up on a 246-acre plot with 8.8 million square feet of built-up space, of which 70 percent is earmarked for IT and IT-enabled services.

The government has given a special economic zone status for 136 acres of the project.

But it has neither completed the registration of the land nor settled a contentious stamp duty issue.

Meanwhile, in a statement Tuesday, the Dubai firm said a company team would arrive at Thiruvanathapuram to hold discussions with the state's chief secretary.

'The meeting will focus on the pending issues causing setbacks to the development of Smart City Kochi,' said the statement.

'Once the pending issues are resolved, the planning and operational activities will be intensified. We are fully committed to the project,' the Dubai firm said.

Source

SmartCity Kochi Crucial Meeting today @ 11 a.m.

Creating an air of optimism ahead of their meeting with the Chief Secretary on ways to ensure the progress of the SmartCity project in Kochi, Tecom, the Dubai-based promoters of the project, have issued a statement reassuring their commitment to the project.

A high level delegation led by SmartCity Chief Executive Officer Fareed Abdulrahman is set to hold discussions with Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. The meeting will be held at the Chief Secretary’s chamber at 11 a.m. Mr. Abdulrahman is likely to brief reporters thereafter.

The project, a joint venture of Dubai-based SmartCity and the State government, had been in a limbo ever since differences of opinion cropped up between the stakeholders over a host of issues.

The meeting is expected to come out with some solutions to set the project in motion.

To start off with, the statement issued from Dubai confirms the arrival of SmartCity officials for talks with the chief secretary.

“The meeting will focus on the pending issues causing setbacks to the development of SmartCity Kochi,” the statement said. This was a reiteration of the promoters’ stand for long that they were prepared only to discuss, what they perceived as, “pending issues.”

This included registration of the fresh lease and incorporating in it various provisions of the Framework Agreement signed between SmartCity and the State government, and acquisition of 19 cents (0.08 hectare) located at the centre of a land measuring 114 acres (46 hectares)

The most important issue, however, was regarding inclusion of a clause pertaining to 12 per cent freehold land in the fresh lease.

The State government stand on this issue, however, was that this could wait till the master plan for the project was ready.

“Once the pending issues are resolved, the planning and operational activities will be intensified to push forward with SmartCity Kochi.
SmartCity is fully committed to the project and believes in its partnership with the Government of Kerala to make it a proud reality,” the statement further added.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan says the government is hopeful of clearing the air over the SmartCity project through Wednesday’s discussion with Tecom.



Source
Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan today informed Assembly that, steps would be taken to sign a fresh land deed document with Tecom authorities soon. Chief Minister also informed that, 132 acres of land which was set aside for the project has been grated SEZ status.

The project, which is hanging in limbo for some time now is expected to gain momentum after the representatives of Tecom, the promoters of the proposed Smart City project in Kochi will reach here on 9 September for comprehensive discussions with state government.
A team led by Fareed Abdulrahman, Executive Director of TECOM will hold discussions with Chief Secretary regarding the implementation of the project.

The issue of ‘freehold right’ cropped up when the Dubai-based Tecom Investments insisted that the company wanted a free hold right on the 12 percent of total land.

The proposed project, to be jointly launched by the state government and infrastructure major Smart City, is slated to come up on a 246-acre plot with 8.8 million square feet of built-up space, of which 70 percent is earmarked for IT and IT-enabled services.

The foundation stone of the project was laid Nov 16, 2007 by Achuthanandan and since then, barring a few board meetings, there has been no movement in the project.

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Smart City Malta Work in progress

SmartCity Malta has achieved notable progress in the construction of SCM01.

The foundation and retaining structure works at SCM01 have been completed and SmartCity Malta is now engaged in the construction of the super-structure. Aligned with this structural progress, the fa├žade works have also commenced with the appointed local contractor.

SCM01 is the first SmartCity building in Phase One currently under construction. It will consist of 12,000 square meters of ready-to-use Grade A offices to be completed and handed over to the first business partners by 2010, as scheduled.

SmartCity Malta has submitted its application to MEPA for the site-wide grading permit for all phases of the self-sustained business township which will cover the lagoon, shopping boulevard and the residential area. The tender for the site-wide grading has also been issued and grading works are expected to commence shortly.

SmartCity Malta has further invested in an extensive value-engineering exercise to maximise the efficiency of the design and implementation of the entire project. This has resulted in drastic volumetric reductions of excavated earthwork material which is recycled and rehabilitated on the site. By conducting such exercises SmartCity Malta continues to follow sound building practices.

The planning and construction works at SmartCity Malta are shaping up at a fast pace and the building structure is on target according to plan.

Via
The proposed visit of Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai-based SmartCity Fareed Abdulrahman to Kerala on September 9 has revived hopes of ending the stalemate that brought the planned SmartCity Kochi project to a halt.

Mr. Abdulrahman will hold discussions with Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan in Thiruvananthapuram on what SmartCity calls “pending issues.” The State Cabinet had urged Ms. Gangadharan to ensure that progress was made in the implementation of the project.

Mr. Abdulrahman is expected to emphasise on incorporating in the fresh lease various provisions in the Framework Agreement that SmartCity signed with the government in May 2007. This included adding “unacquired patta land” of 19 cents (0.08 hectare) located in the centre of a piece of land measuring 114 acres (46 hectares) and, more importantly, incorporating a clause pertaining to 12 per cent freehold land.

He will also bring up the issue of perceived confusion regarding the 100 acres of KSEB land handed over for the project and acquiring Special Economic Zone status for it.

SmartCity had made it clear that any progress on the project depended on the outcome of the discussions with the Chief Secretary. It had also ruled out holding a meeting of the board of directors unless a decision was reached on the pending issues.

The last six months saw a worsening of relations between SmartCity and the State government. After the fifth meeting of the board of directors on December 22 last year and Mr. Abdulrahman’s meeting with the Chief Minister on February 19, hardly any official communication took place between the stakeholders.

Things appeared to be getting back on track when Mr. Abdulrahman issued a press release on February 23 hailing the statement of Fisheries Minister S. Sarma, who is also chairman of SmartCity Kochi, that the government was ready to sign a fresh lease agreement. But thereafter things petered out.

Mr. Abdulrahman was in the city on June 1. Though he addressed the media, he did not meet any government representative. The government then entrusted the Chief Secretary with suggesting ways to move forward.

Via


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