Smart City: MoU to be signed in September

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the proposed Smart City Project in Kochi would be signed early September.

The Dubai Internet City authorities have accepted the draft memorandum approved by the Cabinet a fortnight ago and invited State Chief Secretary Palatt Mohandas to sign the document in the first week of September.

The draft, drawn up after mutual discussions, proposes establishment of world class information technology infrastructure, including a township on nearly 300 acres of land.

The Infopark of the State Government (62.27 acres with buildings) will be handed over to the promoters for a payment of Rs.109 crores, part of which will be converted into equity. (The Government will have nine per cent equity participation in the company to be formed for the implementation of the project).

The DIC promises to generate 33,000 direct employment opportunities under the project in ten years.

The Government will acquire 136 acres of land for the project and hand it over to the company for Rs.36 crores. In addition, it will provide 100 acres on a 99-year lease.

The lease will be subject to the condition that the land will revert to the Government in parts if it fails to generate the promised jobs in three stages within the stipulated time-frame.

The area resumed will be in proportion to the shortfall in employment generation.

(The company will be required to generate 5,000 direct employment opportunities in five years, 10,000 employment opportunities by the end of the seventh year and the balance by the end of the tenth year.)

There will not be any mention of the size of the investment in the memorandum.

It is to be finalised at the time of signing the agreement.