Kochi bureau

‘Positive outcome’ at SmartCity meeting

KOCHI: That the Tecom authorities and State government officials have decided to continue with their current initiative to resolve SmartCity-related issues has given rise to an air of optimism, though a solution was not immediately in the offing during the current round of high-level discussions.

SmartCity’s concurrence to agree to a director board meeting is being seen in some quarters as a positive outcome of the discussions. SmartCity, before the meeting, had maintained that there was no question of holding a board meeting till a decision was reached on what it perceived as ‘pending issues.’ These issues had cropped up soon after the foundation stone for the project was laid in November 2007. Central to those pending issues was the question of 12 per cent freehold land. Both parties, however, have not spelt out the extent of progress made in resolving this particular issue. SmartCity wanted the provision for freehold land as mentioned in the original framework agreement included in the fresh lease agreement, while the State government felt that it could wait till the master plan was ready. The government, however, seems apprehensive whether SmartCity would use the freehold land for real estate or such other commercial purposes. Fisheries Minister S. Sarma gave such an indication while talking to The Hindu last month.