Government committed to Kochi IT project: Achuthanandan

Thiruvananthapuram, May 18 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Tuesday said his government will implement the Smart City IT project in Kochi if its promoters, Smart City Dubai, do not do so.

‘They are having financial problems but they are not admitting that. Anyway we have decided to give a bit more time to them. And if they do not come forward, then we are committed to take forward the project,’ he told reporters on the fourth anniversary of his government.

The Chief Minister had laid the foundation stone for the Rs.1,500 crore (Rs.15 billion) Smart City Kochi project just before the first anniversary of his government. Since then, there has been no progress in the project as the two sides are at loggerheads over freehold rights for the developer over 12 percent of the land allotted to the project.

Smart City Dubai wants the government to stick to the agreement providing 12 per cent freehold rights (around 30 acres of land out of the 246 acres). The government is adamant it will not allow any real estate dealings on the land.

Fisheries minister and chairman of Smart City Kochi S. Sarma said if the promoters were expecting to do real estate business then they were mistaken.

‘The delay in going ahead with the project is baffling and there is suspicion they are purposely delaying. This endless wait is not going to be accepted,’ said Sarma.

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