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Smart City project takes off today

M.P. Praveen

Chief Minister, TECOM Executive Chairman to lay the foundations

KOCHI: The stage is set for a grand function to mark the laying of foundation stone for the multi-crore Smart City project here on Friday.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and TECOM Executive Chairman Ahammed bin Byat will jointly lay the stone.

Ajay Kumar, Director, Information Technology, representing the State government, and Farid Abdul Rahman, executive director of TECOM, signed the lease deed for 234.5 acres earmarked for Smart City here on Thursday.

Finishing touches are being given to a massive stage set on 2.4 hectares of land east of the Edachira canal under the direct supervision of the officials of TECOM, the Dubai-based promoters of the project.

A temporary bridge across the canal to the venue is almost completed. Arrangements will go on late into the night, sources said.

The modern stage, complete with extensive light-and-sound settings, is capable of accommodating 10,000 people. A huge police force has been deployed at the venue. The function has been postponed to 2 p.m. from 11 a.m. This was done considering the arrival time of the flight carrying Mr. Byat and other dignitaries, District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish said.

A science and IT-related show organised by TECOM will be a major highlight of the function.

The Smart City project is expected to give a boost to the IT industry in the State as 70 per cent of the buildings to come up under the project will be used for IT and allied services.

It is in keeping with the State government’s policy of ensuring two lakh job opportunities in the IT sector in the next five years. The Smart City is expected to become a platform for the State to market its IT potential in the global IT world.

Kochi’s optic fibre cable international connectivity signifies its position on the global arena.

If the promoters fail to have constructions on 88 lakh sq ft within 10 years, the State government will take over the project. This is one of the important provisions of the agreement signed between the government and TECOM on May 13.

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