Foundation stone for 'Smart City' unveiled in Kochi

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Kochi, Nov 16 (UNI) Work on the Rs 1500 crore 'Smart City' knowledge hub started here today with Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Smart City Executive Director Farid Abdul Rahman formally unveiling the foundation stone for the project.

Delivering the inaugural address, Mr Achuthanandan said the joint sector project, in which the Kerala Government will have a 26 per cent stake, will throw up 90,000 jobs in the IT and ITES sectors.

Stating that other companies had also shown an interest in starting similar projects in Kerala, the chief minister said the LDF Government was committed to turning the state into a hub of knowledge based industries.

Chairman of Dubai-based TECOM Investments Ahammed Bin Byat could not attend the function due to a technical snag in the aircraft he was to travel by.

However, in his speech, read out by Mr Farid Abdul Rahman, the TECOM Investments chairman said that Kochi would be a key link in the global network of knowledge cities, proposed to be set up by his organiation.

Stating that Kerala had a significant potential to become a hub of knowledge-based industries, he said the state had a vast pool of talent and the govenrment was committed to tap the state's tremendous potential for growth.

The Kerala government is leasing 246 acres of land for 99 years for the Smart City project, for Rs 104 crore.

The project, the first major FDI in the IT sector in Kerala, would be spread over an 8.8 million square feet built up area, of which 70 per cent would be for IT and IT enabled services.

It is to be modelled along the lines of the Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City.

UNI

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