After Kochi, Dubais Tecom plans Rs 10,000-cr smart city for north

Written by M Sarita Varma | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: May 3 2014, 10:37am hrs
After completing the first phase of Rs 5,000-crore knowledge hub, Kochi Smartcity, by next year, the Dubai-based Tecom will plan a similar project, with an investment to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore, in north India.

According to Kerala industry minister P K Kunjhalikutty, at the meeting of the Board of directors of Smartcity in Abu Dhabi, the promoters agreed to the commissioning of phase I of the project on March 25, 2015.

The first phase comprises a building of 6.5 lakh sq ft built-up area, spread across 11 acres. The Kochi project has been snapping up plenty of business interests, thanks to the Indian diaspora in IT, sources said.

Tecom is now scouting for a right investment zone in north India, possibly NCR, to set up a similar project. However, it would be in a "much larger scale than the Kochi Smartcity," sources told FE.

When asked if Delhi NCR could be a potential location, SmartCity India MD Baju George said: "Any location that can offer connectivity and a pool of raw talent will be okay with us. We are not looking at a well-developed IT centres like Pune or Hyderabad but not so developed areas, but good connectivity is a pre-condition."

The proposed SmartCity will be self-contained knowledge townships.

The Kerala government holds 16% equity in Kochi SmartCity project, while the rest is held by Tecom Investments, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding.

Once completed, this four-phase project will be at least 88 lakh sq ft developed area and is expected to create over 90,000

direct jobs. George said though the mandate is to have 88 lakh sq ft, the objective is to take this to 140 lakh sq ft of developed area over the next five years.