Kochi: Smart City Kochi, with 8.8-million sft of built-up area, would house firms from information and communication technology, media, finance and research and innovation clusters, from India and abroad.
With the construction of the first building of Smart City Kochi (SCK) set for completion, the full project, covering 246 acres, has received the crucial environmental clearance.
Smart City, with 8.8-million sft of built-up area, would house firms from information and communication technology (ICT), media, finance and research and innovation clusters, from India and abroad. A substantial area under the project has been earmarked for maintaining green cover and open spaces.
The environment clearance was given at a meeting of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority Kerala (SEIAA-K) of the ministry of Environment and Forests, followed by the State Expert Appraisal Committee's (SEAC)'s recommendations.
While considering the application, the SEAC appreciated Smart City's efforts in presenting a clear-cut master plan of the project.
When fully completed, SCK will be the largest IT and IT-enabled infrastructure SEZ in the country. The project's first building, which had received green clearance in July 2013, will have an area of 650,000 sft and would be operational next year. SCK plans to commission the entire project by 2020.
"We are now looking to speed up the construction activities of the project. Works on the first seven-storied structure are in advanced stages of completion, and as announced in the director's board meeting held in Abu Dhabi, it is expected to be inaugurated in March 2015, said Gigo Joseph, CEO of Smart City Kochi.
Once completed, the first tower would be amongst the country's largest LEED Platinum-rated IT buildings.
SCK also entered into agreements for joint development with leading IT, hospitality, realty and education companies, to make the hub here an integrated township having facilities for live, work and play. "Approvals and designs of such joint developments are in various stages of development," said Joseph.