Chandy demands probe into Smart City deal

October 10th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 10 (IANS) Kerala Leader of opposition Oommen Chandy Friday asked Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to initiate a probe into the agreement signed by the government for the Rs.15-billion Smart City project. He alleged that Achuthanandan had a “secret agenda” in giving special concessions to the project. “When we were about to sign the agreement with Smart City Dubai in 2006, when I was chief minister, it was Achuthanandan who said this deal was a corrupt one and we kept it in abeyance. We had given concessions to the tune of Rs.46 crore (Rs.460 million), while the one his government finally inked with them has given concessions worth over Rs.10 billion. Hence, I demand a detailed probe to be launched into both the agreements,” Chandy told reporters here.

Achuthanandan’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Smart City Dubai in March last year.

Chandy said that Achuthanandan seemed to have a “secret agenda” as the Smart City deal had been kept out of the newly issued SEZ guidelines.

“How can there be two different set of rules for SEZs. This is something fishy,” said Chandy.

The Congress led UDF convenor P.P. Thankachen had earlier this week levelled allegations about the role played by Achuthanandan’s son Arun Kumar in signing the deal with Smart City Dubai.

Arun Kumar has now served a legal notice against Thankachen for raising baseless allegations and has demanded Rs.5 million as compensation.

The Smart City project would have 8.8 million square feet of built-up space, of which 70 percent would be for IT and IT-enabled services, and would employ 90,000 professionals.

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