Kochi Smartcity: Facts, History and People

This articles gives a summary of facts about the Kochi Smartcity project.

What is SmartCity?

SmartCity is a global network of self-sustained townships for knowledge-based industries based on the model of Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village. "SmartCity" is a joint venture formed by TECOM Investments and SAMA Dubai to develop and manage knowledge industry townships worldwide.

SmartCity provides the infrastructure, environment and support systems for knowledge based companies (IT comapanies) and business parks to successfully setup the business without major investments on construction, buildings, networks etc. SmartCity provides all the necessary infrastructure for the companies to start the business right away.

TECOM expects to setup a SmartCity in each continent. The first 2 projects are SmartCity Malta and SmartCity Kochi.

TECOM Investments

"TECOM Investments" is the company that operate SmartCity in Dubai, along with SAMA Dubai). TECOM Investments manage several other knowledge based business parks including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village.

TECOM Investments is part of the "Dubai Holding group", a holding company of Dubai government. So, Dubai government has an indirect ownership of TECOM Investments.

SAMA Dubai

SAMA Dubai is a member company and subsidiary of Dubai Holding, a holding company setup by the Dubai Government. They develop and operate real premium, mega estate projects world side. SAMA is the real estate wing of Dubai Holding company.

Dubai Holding

Learn more about Dubai Holding, which is a holding company of Dubai Government: http://www.tecom.ae/dubai-holding/

SmartCity projects worldwide

Dubai based SmartCity is expanding their network to other countries. The first 2 projects in their vision is "SmartCity Malta" and "SmartCity Kochi".

Even though both of the projects were proposed at about the same time, SmartCity Malta is already operational, but SmartCity Kochi is still in discussion stage due to various political issues and red tapism in Kerala.

About Kochi SmartiCity project

  • SmartCity Kochi is an IT township and infrastructure project proposed to be setup in Kochi, Kerala, India

  • Kochi SmartCity will be promoted by the Dubai based company "SmartCity" and the government of Kerala. Dubai based "SmartCity" is a joint venture company promoted by TECOM Investments and SAMA Dubai, backed by the Dubai government.

  • Smart City will be an exclusive IT zone where foreign companies can easily set up offices without any stringent formalities of registration and licensing.

  • SmartCity, Kochi will include office space, residences, schools, shopping complex, parks, entertainment complex etc.

  • The initial proposal was to setup the SmartCity in 1000 acres of land. However, only 246 acres of land is offered currently. The land will be given on lease for 99 years.

  • A new lease agreement for the land allotted for Kochi SmartCity was signed on 23 Feb 2011. There are 2 separate lease agreements signed for 131.41 acres and 114.59 acres of land respectively.

  • 133 acres of the 246 acres allotted to the Smart City have got the special economic zone (SEZ) status already. However, when the new lease agreement was signed on 23 Feb 2011, it was found that there is only 131.41 acres of land available in this property.

  • A separate SEZ application will be filed soon for the rest of the land (114.59 acres).

  • SmartCity is expected to generate around 90,000 direct jobs in Kochi

  • Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure Pvt Ltd

  • A company called "Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure Pvt Ltd" is registered in India with Dubai based Tecom investments and Kerala Government as major partners

  • The initial share of Kerala government in the Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure Pvt Ltd will be 16% which will go up to 25% at a later stage.

  • The director board will have 10 members. 2 directors will be nominees of Kerala government. Kerala government will recommend the Chairman of director board.

  • Kochi SmartCity is part of Dubai based SmartCity, which is a jooint venture between TECOM Investments and SAMA Dubai. However, the role of SAMA Dubai in Kochi SmartCity project is unclear at this time.

  • Who is Who in SmartCity, Kochi

  • Kerala Fisheries Minister S. Sarma is the Chairman of Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure Pvt Ltd

  • Abdullatif-Almulla, CEO of Tecom Investments, Dubai, is the Vise Chairman of Smart City (Kochi) Infrastructure Pvt Ltd

  • History

  • SmartCity project was originally proposed during the tenure of Mr A K Antony as Chief Minister of Kerala in the year 2004

  • Next Chief Minister Mr. Oommen Chandy took lot of interests to bring TECOM Investments to Kerala and make sure Kerala will not lose the SmartCity project

  • January 2005: Kerala government received a communication that the 'Smart City' project of the Dubai Internet City (DIC) Group will be set up in Kochi.

  • May 2005: Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Kerala government agreed in principle to setup the SmartCity in Kochi

  • 11 Aug 2005: Kerala cabinet approved the draft for Kochi SmartCity project

  • 9 Sept 2005: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for SmartCity was signed

  • Opposition leader Mr. V. S. Achuthananthan opposes MoU. DYFI, CPI(ML) and BJP plans stir against SmartCity

  • Mr. V. S. Achuthananthan becomes Chief Minister of Kerala. Even though he accused SmartCity project as a real estate project in the past, he took initiative to continue the project, after TECOM agreed to several changes proposed by him.

  • 16 Nov 2007: Foundation stone for SmartCity project unveiled by chief minister Mr. V. S. Achuthananthan

  • 12 July 2008: Mouchel appointed as infrastructure consultant for Smart City

  • 4 Aug 2008: The project management of SmartCity (Kochi) Infrastructure Private Ltd is outsourced to the global construction risk management company "Hill International"

  • 15 June 2009: The Dubai based SmartCity announced today that they will cancel the Kochi SmartCity project that they have been negotiating with the Kerala government. They blamed the red tape and lack of interest in the CPI(M) led government of Kerala for their decision to exit the Kochi Smart city project

  • 29 March 2009: SmartCity vacates Kochi office ahead of board meeting due to the delay in getting final approval from Kerala government.

  • 3 Feb 2011: Kerala government and Tecom representatives reached an agreement on proceeding with SmartCity project. NRI businessman Mr. M. A. Yusuf Ali plays a key role in bringing both parties together. Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and the UAE cabinet minister Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Gargavi signed a new agreement. According to the new agreement, Kochi SmartCity will get freehold rights on 12% of the land without selling rights.

  • 23 Feb 2011: Kerala government and Tecom Investments signed the new lease agreement for the Kochi SmartCity.

  • 5 Oct 2011: Construction work for the phase 1 of Kochi Smartcity project (re)started today.

  • Comments

    Author: sujith26 Feb 2011 Member Level: Silver   Points : 1

    Thank you for sharing this important information.It will really help those people who are unknown to Cochin smartcity.

    Best regards
    Sujith k

    Author: Indrani Singh24 Jun 2011 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 1

    This information sheds tremendous light on the potential growth and development that Cochin will have in the years to come. I have recently joined so I got to read this article only now but I profusely thank you for your initiative to update people on the history of the making of today's Cochin and the planning to make it even better tomorrow. Let us all make a conscious effort to put Cochin on the World map as The Most Desirable Destination!! Kudos to you!!

    With a lot of appreciation,
    Indrani Singh

    Author: thomas v jose28 Oct 2011 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 1

    Thank You for the valuable updates about Smart city. Hoping various job opportunities would also be made available in this forum.

    Best regards
    Thomas V Jose

    Author: madhushree11 Apr 2012 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 3

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