Kochi | The first phase of Kochi Smart City, spread over 246 acres in Info Park near the suburb of Kakkanad, was inaugurated Saturday.
With this, a 6.5 lakh sq ft IT tower has become functional.
What is termed as Kerala’s dream project was dedicated to the nation jointly by state Chief Minister Oommen Chandy; Mohammed Al Gargawi, the Chairman of Dubai Holding; Ahmad Bin Byat, Vice-Chairman and MD, Dubai Holding; Jaber Bin Hafez, Vice-Chairman, SmartCity Kochi; Union IT Affairs Minister Rajiv Prathap Rudi; Industries and IT Minister P KKunhalikutty, who is also Chairman, SmartCity Kochi; and M. A. Yousouf Ali, Special Invitee to the Board of SmartCity, by pressing a buzzer.
The foundation stone for the construction of the 4.7 million sq ft second stage at Idachira, near Kakkanad, was also laid simultaneously.
PWD Minister Ibrahim Kunj; KV Thomas MP; MLAs; Baju George, Interim CEO and Board Member, SmartCity Kochi,; Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson; Sunny Va rkey, Chairman, GEMS group; V. K. Mathews, Chairman, IBS; and Dr. A. N. Safeena, Development Commissioner, CSEZ besides top industrialists and officials attended the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Oommen Chandy said Kerala has opened its doors to the world, and that the Smart City offers Kerala’s youngsters, who have been going overseas to make a living, job opportunities in homeland.
As many as 27 IT companies have already been leased out 75 per cent of the leasable space in the first IT tower and many of them have already started their ‘fit-out jobs.’
The companies are expected to be fully functional within the next 3 to 4 months. Once fully operational, Phase 1 can generate a minimum of 5000 job opportunities in one shift, it is estimated.
A firm in SmartCity Kochi can have virtual presence or physical presence in SmartCity in Dubai or Malta.
The 4.7 million sq ft Phase 2 to be launched will have seven towers in it. It will include a 1.8 million sq ft project by Sands Infrabuild, the IT division of Lulu Group. When completed, it will be the tallest IT tower in India.
The projects of UAE based Holiday Group; GEMS International School; Bengaluru based Maratt Projects Pvt Ltd; Prestige Group and Kochi based Elton Technologies apart from SmartCity’s own tower are to feature in Phase 2.
The second phase, which will generate about 60,000 jobs, would also feature non-IT buildings as well. Phase 2 is expected to be completed within 30 to 36 months.
The Opposition boycotted the function in protest against corruption-tainted ministers, and alleging that the function was organized as an election stunt. Opposition activists, led by CPM Ernakulam District Secretary P. Rajiv, marched to the venue.