Work on SmartCity project to begin in June

TRIVANDRUM — The work on the first phase of SmartCity, a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority (Tecom) at Cochin, will begin in June.

By T.k. Devasia

Published: Sun 24 Mar 2013, 9:06 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:11 PM

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the project directors and consultants held at Cochin on Friday. The site for the first building was finalised at the meeting. The meeting also discussed various infrastructure facilities to be created for the project.

Smart City managing director Baju George told reporters after the meeting that the master plan of the project will be considered at the company’s director board meeting in Dubai on April 11. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Industries and Information Technology Minister P K Kunhhalikutty are expected to participate in the meeting.

Baju said that the master plan will be finalised by May. It will have more open space than was proposed earlier. The project will now have 70 per cent open space and only 30 per cent built-up area. The change is to make the project match with the greenery of the state.

He said application for environmental clearance for the project will be submitted by the middle of next month. The earlier application was returned by the State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) as it lacked basic details like the proposed building, location of sewage treatment plant, solid waste storage area, green belt, rainwater harvesting etc.

The hurdle in the execution of the project was cleared recently with the federal government notifying all the 246 acres of the project area (divided by a rivulet) as a single special economic zone.

The project is expected to make Cochin a member of the global network of knowledge-based industry townships. It is vital to the state government’s plan to create over half a million new jobs by 2020. The project is designed to create over 90,000 direct jobs.

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