Though the issue of natural boundaries has been solved, TECOM Investments, the promoters of Smart City, will not be able to start the construction immediately as the project is yet to get the environmental clearance.
The single SEZ status was granted for an area which encompasses additional 115-acres of land along with the previously allotted 135-acres. The issue of single status problem arose as Kadambrayar, the river which runs through the project area, divides the land into three. The Ministry of Finance took a stand that single SEZ status cannot be granted as the land is divided by natural boundaries.
TECOM authorities were of the opinion that if the project area is converted into two separate SEZs, the master plan would have to be completely redrawn which would also result in additional investments.
“It is a major step and the project would be taken further. Now the TECOM has to take further steps,” said IT Principal Secretary P H Kurian.
Meanwhile, the Smart City authorities have said that the final master plan would be ready within one month in consultation with the representatives of the state government. “Workshop will be held in Dubai and Kochi to discuss the master plan,” they said.
We can go for environment clearance only after preparing the final masterplan. A Chennai-based organisation is carrying out environment impact assessment study for us now, Smart City Kochi MD Baju George told ‘City Express’.
TECOM had prepared a draft master plan, envisaging a built-up space of 16 million sqft in which 11 million sqft would be used for IT and related activities.