India Business
'Announcement on Kerala Smart City project soon'
Feb 25, 2007 - 10:13:03 PM

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 25 - A deal between the Kerala government and Dubai Internet City - on the Rs.15 billion - Smart City project at Kochi is on the cards despite minor differences between the two sides, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said Sunday.

'The discussions on clinching the deal will continue Monday. Though small differences are still there we expect to make an announcement in this regard before the assembly session beginning March 3,' Achuthanandan said after meeting government officials and a two-member DIC team at his official residence here.

Earlier in the day, Chief Secretary Lissy Jacob said there were some more issues to be resolved and another round of discussion was likely to take place Monday.

'Talks have gone forward and we have been able to find solutions to certain issues that cropped up during the last round of talks Feb 7. And, as you know, these things can go forward as per government procedure, consensus has to take place on a few more issues,' said Jacob.

Farid Abdul Rahman, the team leader of DIC, expressed confidence that the news about clinching of the deal is likely to be heard Monday.

'We are optimistic about the project and the progress that we have made is enormous. We are trying our best to finalise it tomorrow,' said Rahman.

DIC had inked a memorandum of understanding - with the Oommen Chandy government in October 2005. As leader of opposition then, Achuthanandan had opposed the transfer of the already developed Infopark campus to DIC agreed to by Chandy.

According to the new proposal, Infopark will not be handed over and Kerala would lease around 210 acres of land to DIC for around Rs.800 million - and no free land will be given to it.

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