India Business
Progress in talks for Kerala Smart City project
Feb 25, 2007 - 8:49:16 PM

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 25 - Talks between the Kerala government and a team of Dubai Internet City - have made progress and both sides are optimistic that the deal on the Rs.15 billion - Smart City project at Kochi will be clinched.

Emerging after a five-hour meeting here Sunday, Kerala 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.

After the meeting, the government team met Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and briefed him about the talks. Reports indicate that the DIC team is also likely to call on the chief minister at his official residence in the city late Sunday.

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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