Kerala Govt. mulls handing over Smartcity Kochi to Infopark

The government has been contemplating to handover the prestigious Smartcity project to Inforpark as the former is in a state of limbo for past two years and consecutive talks with Smartcity Tecom officials have proved futile, informed Thomas Isaac, state Finance Minister.

The project, the foundation stone of which was laid in November 2007, is yet to take off due to differences between the State Government and Tecom, the promoters of the project, over issues like granting freehold right for 12 percent of the land allotted for the project.

While the government is sticking to the clause in the framework agreement that free-hold land right could be granted only after the completion of the master plan, the Tecom has been demanding the free-hold land right immediately.

Thomas Isaac said, the government would try to raise fund on behalf of Infopark. He also added that, the government’s main goal would be to resist the ASEAN and price rise. The food subsidy would be raised. This year’s Budget would focus on Food Security and Agriculture sector, Thomas Isaac said.

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Smart City Kochi: Decision within a month

A decision on whether TECOM should be called in for completing the proposed Smart City project in Kochi would be taken in a month’s time, said Minister S Sarma, who is also the project chairman of Smart City.

He said the government hitherto waited for TECOM. This will not work again. It is high time the government waited for TECOM. Now, the government will take decision within one month whether it is necessary or not to invite TECOM to be part of Smart City.

He reiterated that TECOM’s demand to make available free ownership over 12 % of land cannot be accepted.

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Kerala Government condoning failure on SmartCity Kochi: IUML

Indian Union Muslim League State general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty has described baseless Chief Minister Achuthanandan’s statement blaming the United Democratic Front (UDF) for the failure of the SmartCity project.

Talking to reporters at Manjeri near here on Monday, Mr. Kunhalikutty said that it was the UDF that brought the SmartCity project, and that the Chief Minister was trying to condone the government’s failure to implement the project.

“When the UDF comes to power, we’ll set up more than one SmartCity in Kerala,” the Muslim League leader said.

Mr. Kunhalikutty said governance in the State was going in a reverse gear. He said a UDF team would visit Wayanad in view of the CPI(M)’s encroachments on the land of Shreyams Kumar, MLA. The IUML leader accused the CPI(M) of resorting to personal vendetta against Shreyams Kumar after he changed the political front. Mr. Kunhalikutty said that the CPI(M) did not have the power to resist the UDF in the State.

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Sound City Kochi
Rasool pookkutti's 300 crore sound city project in kochi

http://www.mathrubhumi.com/story.php?id=82264
The Congress-led opposition in Kerala Tuesday said the proposed Rs.1,500-crore (Rs.15 billion) Smart City Kochi project has failed to materialise due to the ineffectiveness of the state government.

Responding to queries on Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan's statement about the project, Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy told reporters: "This government is completing four years in office shortly, what were they doing till now.

"The government lacks the will to do things because of their own contradictions and the easiest thing is to blame all and sundry for one's own failure and they are doing just that," he added.

The chief minister had said in Delhi last week that the mega Information Technology (IT) project was at cross roads because a section of the opposition leaders and their children were playing spoilsport to see that the project does not materialise.

Achuthanandan had laid the foundation stone for the mega IT project at Kochi, to be built by Smart City Dubai, in November 2007. It was to come up in a 246-acre plot and expected to provide 90,000 jobs.

But after the laying of the foundation stone, nothing happened as the issue of granting 12 percent freehold rights to Smart City Dubai cropped up. Despite several rounds of discussion, the issue was not resolved.

"We have a chief minister here who time and again says that Smart City Dubai is financially broke. Is this the way a chief minister of a state who is looking for investment to happen speaks," asked Chandy, who had cleared the proposal when he was the chief minister in 2006.

The last director board meeting of the Smart City Kochi took place in December in Thiruvananthapuram and as always ended without any progress.

"We asked Achuthanandan several times to come clean on his repeated statements that Smart City Dubai has been demanding things outside of the agreement. But till date we are yet to hear from him on what the demands are," added Chandy.

Copyright Indo Asian News

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