The design for the first IT building of the SmartCity Kochi project is likely to be finalised in a week.

SmartCity (India) managing director Baju George told The Hindu the design would be finalised in the presence of Abdul Latheef Al Mulla, chief business development officer of Dubai Holding and vice-chairman of SmartCity Kochi. Mr. Al Mulla will be spending a few days in the city next week to review the progress of the project.

The promoters of the company have been holding weekly review meetings to assess the progress of the design. The meetings are held mostly in Kochi or Bangalore and are attended by all consultants and architects associated with the project.

The design of the building is being prepared by Canada-based architectural firm B + H. The latest meeting to review the design was held in the city on Friday.

“It was an exhaustive meeting lasting almost seven hours. The meeting reviewed the design critically. No fundamental changes were suggested in the design except for fine tuning of some functional aspects like safety,” Mr. George said. Two more meetings have been scheduled for July 1 and 11 at Bangalore.

He said the design had evolved well. The four-storeyed building with a 22 lakh sq. ft area spread over 50 acres on the banks of Kadamprayar at Edachira near Kakkanad will be set up at an investment of Rs.350 crore. It will have one lakh sq. ft on each floor as against the built-up area of 30,000 to 50,000 sq. ft in most buildings.

Though it has been declared that work on the first building would be launched on July 1, the promoters will have to wait for the hearing on environmental clearance scheduled for July 6 before they can launch full-fledged work.

Mr. George said initial work such as soil testing and ground preparation permitted within the ambits of law before securing the environmental clearance will be launched on July 1. Meanwhile, an annual general meeting of SmartCity Kochi held on Saturday approved the audited accounts of the company for the past one year and expressed satisfaction about the progress of the project. Tara Samuel, joint secretary, IT Department, represented the State government.

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