Dubai firm allays fears over future of $316m Indian IT city

TECOM unit still committed to building mega project amid Kerala gov't concerns.
Dubai firm allays fears over future of $316m Indian IT city
SMART CITY: An artists impression of the Smart City concept.
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 26 Nov 2009 07:00 AM

Smart City Dubai, a subsidiary of TECOM Investments, has pledged its commitment to a plan to build a $316m IT super city in India after a local government official suggested the project had hit financial problems.

Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan claimed the developers of Smart City Kochi faced financial problems, but the company's chief executive Fareed Abdulrahman hit back, saying it was still committed to the "very important project", similar to Dubai Internet City, which aims to create up to 90,000 jobs.

He added that it would follow the conditions of the framework agreement it signed with the government to develop the Smart City Kochi, a major IT park.

"We have the full support, financially, operationally and otherwise, from our parent company, TECOM Investments. We also wish to highlight our commitment towards our legal obligations as outlined in the framework agreement," Abdulrahman said in comments to the Indo-Asia News Service.

He added: "Comments that may question our commitment or our legal obligations towards this very important project are misplaced and could impair our shared vision."

Abdulrahman added that the company was seeking "better understanding and cooperation from our counterparts and partners".

The proposed project is to be built on a 246-acre plot with 8.8 million square feet of space, of which 70 percent is earmarked for IT and IT-enabled services.

"We would also like to reassure the people of Kerala that Smart City Kochi is very much a priority for us and we will exert every effort to guarantee its successful fruition," he added.

The chief minister laid the foundation stone for the IT park in November 2007, but the project has since stalled.

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