Kochi

SmartCity Kochi to go for freehold land conversion

Once converted, the freehold rights will continue to remain with SmartCity Kochi.

Once converted, the freehold rights will continue to remain with SmartCity Kochi.   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

SmartCity Kochi will push for the conversion of 12% of its allotted 246 acres into freehold land to promote residential projects.

A board meeting of the company, held last week in Thiruvananthapuram, resolved to approach the State government seeking the change of status of 29.5 acres from leasehold to freehold, said a press release quoting SmartCity Kochi CEO Manoj Nair.

“In accordance with the provisions of the framework agreement executed in 2007 followed by the lease agreement signed in 2011 with the Kerala government, we will submit the request to the State administration to facilitate change of status of selected plots in SmartCity Kochi from leasehold to freehold.

“This will enable SmartCity to undertake developments to promote residential projects and facilitate people to buy residential units, including options for long-term lease,” he said.

“Based on the ongoing development plans in SmartCity Kochi, an additional 55 lakh square feet built-up area will be delivered in phases commencing fourth quarter of 2020. This will create an additional 55,000 direct jobs, increasing the workforce population to 1,00,000 in the IT hub at Kakkanad. With the GEMS Modern Academy School, with a capacity of 3,000 students, commencing soon, the timing is appropriate for us to promote residential and retail projects and other related infrastructure that will make up the landscape of this township. We are pinning our hope on the government to complete the process expeditiously,” he added.

The conversion “will require certain processes to be completed by the government. Once converted, the freehold rights will continue to remain with SmartCity Kochi.”

The board also approved a proposal to allocate 3.33 acres for the construction of a terminal and two jetties as part of the Kochi Water Metro project, being implemented by Kochi Metro Rail Limited. The terms and conditions of lease will be finalised soon.

The State government holds 16% share in SmartCity Kochi, and the remaining 84% is owned by the UAE-based Dubai Holding, a global investment holding company.

EoI submitted

Real estate company Confident Group has submitted an Expression of Interest (EoI) for developing residential projects on 15 acres within SmartCity Kochi at an investment of ₹1,200 crore. Discussions had been on with the company “for the past couple of months,” Mr. Nair said.

“We have identified the land parcels where residential developments would be prioritised. Subject to completing the processes with the government of Kerala, we are hopeful that the development with Confident Group will further construction activities in SmartCity,” he said.

“We have proposed to undertake the development in phases over five years, once necessary approval from SmartCity Kochi to go ahead is given to us,” said Roy C.J., chairman of the company.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 9:40:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/smartcity-kochi-to-go-for-freehold-land-conversion/article25100651.ece

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