2011 Smart City Kochi project fresh updates latest news

Get all the latest news and updates about the Smart City Kochi project.

Any project in India invariably gets bogged down by some kind of scam Adarsh Society scam for example) with plenty of mud-slinging and corruption charges, not to mention violating environmental norms. So is that why the seeds of the Smart City Kochi project idea which were sown way back in 2003 have not come to fruitation?!

Don't know about the corruption bit, but apparently the project got held up due to the land which the Dubai-based promoters want being within the Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The promoters of the Smart City Kochi project TECOM, had demanded freehold of a little over 12% of the land which had been demarcated for the project and this land happened to be outside of the SEZ limits. However, this was not agreeable to the Kerala Govt. as it would mean that TECOM could then at any stage sell off that land – and probably make a good profit too! Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan himself raised doubts about TECOM's real intentions in investing in the project, wondering if they actually were launching their own independent property venture.

Now, thanks to the intervention of UAE corporate honcho M A Yusuf Ali, who opened up dialogues with Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee officials, TECOM has tentatively agreed to getting the freehold land within the SEZ limits. The keyword here is tentative. No official documents have been signed. Yet, there does definitely seem to be a lot of hope that the Smart City Kochi project will no longer be stalled. None other than Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Governor, is arriving tomorrow at Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala, to have official talks with Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan. If the meeting is successful, fresh documents will have to be drawn up for TECOM's leasing rights of the land.

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