On 5th September, chief minister of Kerela Oommen Chandy made the announcement that the first phase of the Smart City project will be launched in the month of December in this very year. The soon to be launched first phase will be home to knowledge-based companies.
The Government on August 27, 2015 the names of the 98 cities that will be part of the ambitious Smart Cities project were revealed. For some it was bliss while for some cities it was a boon as their dreams got shattered. Moreover it has been planned on the part of the Government to invest near about 3 lakh crores in the next five years so as to make the selected 98 cities ready to overcome the upcoming challenges of urbanization. Kerela is amongst the 98 cities selected.
The announcement was made by the chief Minister at the 45th Board of Directors meeting which was being conducted at SmartCity Pavilion at Kakkanad after evaluating the progress Report of the Project. Further he also said that the second phase of the project will also be launched in the month of December only.
The already developed Smart City Kochi is built in over 246 acres in the IT corridor of Kochi. It is a hub for all of all the Information and Communication Technology), media, finance and education (research) companies which attracts people from across the world. Out of the 98 cities selected for the Smart Cities Project second highest have been selected from the Indian State of Tamil Nadu while the highest has been selected from Uttar Pradesh.
The Chief Minister said, “The first phase of SmartCity project comprises 6.5 lakh sq ft of built-up space. In the second phase, a project with 47 lakh sq ft will be developed. With completion of the second project, it will provide direct job opportunities for 45,000 people”.
The distinguished dignitaries who were present in the meeting were: P K Kunjalikutty who is the Minister for Industries and IT, K Babu- Minister for Excise and Fisheries, Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson, Jaber Bin Hafez who is Smartcity Vice Chairman, M A Yousuf Ali- Dubai-based Indian business tycoon, CEO Baju George and Principal Secretary IT P H Kurien.
The state government has also took the decision to increase the stamp duty and waive off the registration charges which were given to IT units and IT developers in Special Economic Zones to co-developers as well. This was implemented because the co-developers of SmartCity could not commence with their construction work as they considered it as an obstacle.
All in all four meeting were conducted under the aegis of Jiji Thomson who act as the Chairman and tried his level best in coming out with a solution to help solve the several pending issues and put the project on a faster mode.
Initially in the Smart City Project government is planning to lay emphasis on these three things: Education sector, Business Sector by establishing new physical infrastructure and Young India.