SmartCity Kochi will submit a fresh application for environment clearance for its first phase on June 15.
Addressing a press conference at the company pavilion on Monday, SmartCity (India) managing director Baju George said the hearing on the application has been scheduled for the first Saturday of July.
“This time, we have taken care to ensure that the application is not found wanting in terms of project details. We are hoping to get environmental clearance in the first hearing itself,” he said.
The State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) has deferred its recommendation for environmental clearance to the first phase of the project on account of many factual errors and absence of specific environmental management plan.
Asked whether the construction can be launched next month without securing the environment clearance, Mr. George said some works can be launched before that. The construction is likely to be begin with piling works.
The work of the first bridge, for which the tender formalities have been completed, connecting the plots separated by a water body will also start in July.
Mr. George said that funds will not be an probelm as SmartCity Kochi has an authorised capital of Rs. 670 crore. He said that discussions were underway with some banks, which have come forward to lend for the project. “We may not require assistance from banks initially, as we have capital investment to bank on at least for the constructions scheduled till the half of next year,” he said.
So far, Rs. 192 crore of the capital has been invested with the State government contributing 16 per cent of it. More funds will come in as and when the construction progresses.
Mr. George said the concept master plan prepared will be improved upon. He said that as per the framework agreement, 70 per cent of the total built-up space of 88 lakh sq.ft for the entire SmartCity Kochi project will be dedicated to IT and IT-Enabled Services. “However, Special Economic Zone norm of designating 50 per cent of the project land as processing zone will also be complied with,” he said. The project is slated to come up on 246 acres at Edachira.
Gigo Joseph has assumed charge as the new Chief Executive Officer of SmartCity Kochi.
Mr. Joseph had been serving as the CEO of Infopark Kochi till the end of last month. “I am looking forward to the challenges posed by the new assignment. Though Infopark was also about IT, SmartCity is an altogether different experience and environment,” Mr. Joseph told a press conference here on Monday.