Smart City: State seeks assurance on jobs

Amid the raging controversy over the proposed Smart City project in Kochi, the State Government has sought a written commitment from the Dubai Internet City (DIC) regarding the number of jobs that will be generated by the project. (See: Kerala signs MoU with Dubai Internet City for $400-million IT park)

''''The DIC authorities have claimed to create 33,000 job opportunities once the Smart City becomes operational," said chief secretary Babu Jacob who is head of the high-level committee, coordinating the project with. "In return, we have offered them 400 acres of land in Kochi. This includes 100 acres of land free of cost, 200 acres on cost-recovery basis and another 100 acres including Infopark in Kochi,'''' he added

According to sources, the DIC authorities have a misconception regarding the incentives to be made available by the government. ''''They were under the impression that the government will hand over 1,000 acres of land to them free of cost. However, the government had made its stand clear and they understood the ground realities,'''' sources said.

Jacob also said, ''''Even though they agreed to give compensation to the government in case they failed to create the promised number of jobs, we are asking them for a written agreement to that effect.'''' However, the details about the mode and volume of compensation were yet to be worked out, he said.

According to him, the DIC authorities will offer a revised proposal by February 20. He said that the government would have no control over the DIC in the operation of the proposed Smart City.