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Sarma: Tecom demands are untimely

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Fisheries Minister S. Sarma said here on Monday that the proposed SmartCity Kochi project was getting delayed owing to ‘untimely’ demands made by Tecom, the Dubai-based promoters of the project.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here on Monday, Mr. Sarma, who is also the chairman of SmartCity Kochi, said the State government was prepared to honour every provision included in the original framework agreement.

He said as per the framework agreement, Tecom could not raise the issue of 12 per cent freehold land at this stage. The agreement clearly stated that the issue of freehold land would be taken up only after the director board approved the master plan for the project. Hence, Tecom’s insistence on freehold land was ‘untimely,’ he said. Tecom had for long been demanding inclusion of the provision of 12 per cent freehold land in the fresh lease agreement.

Mr. Sarma said the State government was not prepared to concede unfair demands merely because jobs would be generated.

His statement comes close on the heels of the remark made by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan that the project was being delayed as Tecom had been hit by global economic recession. Tecom has stuck to its stand that there is nothing more to discuss unless the provision of freehold land is included in the fresh lease agreement.

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