Spadework begins on Smart City Kochi

October 8th, 2011 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Oct 8 (IANS) Spadework has eventually begun on the somewhat delayed Smart City Kochi — a 250-acre campus that seeks to eventually offer an enticing environment for offices and homes alike.

The groundbreaking ceremony of a 6,000-square-foot management office of the township, the nerve centre of the project, which promises to proceed from futuristic concepts and utilise practical tecnologies, was performed Saturday.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, also the chief patron of the project, was present along with Industries Minister and Smart City Kochi vhairman P.K. Kunhalikutty, and TECOM Group (Smart City Dubai) CEO Abdullatif AlMulla.

Smart City Kochi, as a destination for local, regional and international knowledge companies, is expected to be complete in five-and-half years and and promises to provide 90,000 jobs, potentially transforming Kerala into an investment destination of choice.

Chandy said this is not merely an IT project, but a major initiative with unique features that can create substantial employment and nurture Kerala’s economy to next level of growth.

“The first phase will be ready in 20 months and will send an important message that Kerala is highly investor-friendly and major projects can happen here,” said Chandy. “Smart City Kochi will be followed by many such mega projects.”

Chandy can take pride because it was under his aegis in 2004 that the discussion first started on setting up the project.

Abdullatif AlMulla said the vision of Smart City Dubai and the government of Kerala is now a reality.

“In the coming years, this ideal self-sustained township will become one of Kochi’s economic pillars as it harnesses the expected increasing demands for ICT and media driven services,” he said.

The project area is to come up in a 250 acre campus for which it has been given the special economic zone status.

The project was delayed during then chief minister V.S.Achutanandan’s tenure as the Left Democratic Front government raised objection to grant of free-hold rights to the Smart City Dubai,

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