India Business
Don't lose Smart City, LDF tells Achuthanandan
Mar 12, 2007 - 9:45:24 PM

Thiruvananthapuram, March 12 - With the Kerala Left Democratic Front - asking the V.S. Achuthanandan government Monday to save the Smart City project, the project appears to be on the verge of being clinched.

'We have asked the Achuthanandan government to see that further discussions are carried out with the Dubai Internet City officials - and also see that the proposed Smart City project at Kochi becomes a reality,' LDF convenor Vaikom Viswan told reporters after an LDF coordination committee meeting here.

The last round of discussions between DIC officials and the state government was held here last month with almost all issues sorted out except that of land ownership.

The government's demand for ownership of the land back after a 25-year lease was not accepted by DIC. The project land of 248 acres will be leased out at a cost of Rs.1 billion.

'If I am to say that the LDF has asked the Achuthanandan government to go ahead, then there would be no need to discuss with them again. See, we want the project, but at the same time the state's interests have to be protected,' added Viswan.

With the LDF so hopeful, it is now only a formality for the Rs.15 billion - Smart City project to go through.

Reports indicate that the next round of discussion would be just a formality wherein the Achuthanandan government would agree to a 99-year lease as demanded by the DIC.

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

According to the new proposal, Infopark will not be handed over and no free land will be given.

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