It wants freehold on 30 acres of land with sale rights

While the Kerala government is making an earnest attempt for forging an agreement with Tecom to implement the SmartCity project, the company has raised a fresh demand for freehold on 30 acres of land with sale rights outside the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Minister for Fisheries and Registration S. Sarma has said.

In an article released here on Thursday, the Minister said the framework agreement signed between the government and Tecom specified that 246 acres of land was to be leased out to the company and it was to be treated as SEZ. The SEZ norms do not permit sale of land too. It was in this context that the company had raised the fresh demand to include the right for freehold on 12 per cent of land with sale right in the lease deed. After signing the framework agreement on May 17, 2007, the government complied with the demand for getting SEZ status for the entire 246 acres and initiated steps in this regard.

But the Central SEZ committee declined the demand saying that Kadampra river was flowing through the middle of the site. Mr. Sarma said the committee had granted SEZ status to similar sites in Andhra Pradesh and other States without any objections.

Steps for SEZ status

The government then tried to secure SEZ status separately for two sites of 132 and 114 acres respectively. The committee gave the status for the former, but it was not notified and hence could not begin the construction. As per the agreement, the government was ready to provide power and water too.

Stamp duty concession was given for transferring the 132 acres of land which got SEZ status. The delay in registering the land necessitated a fresh pact and the company raised the fresh demand.

As per the original agreement, freehold should be given only on completing the master plan and it was not outside the SEZ too.

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