KOCHI: After controversies and uncertainties plagued the project for over a decade, the first IT building of SmartCity is expected to become operational in June.
The building is fast nearing completion, and SmartCity authorities will start work on the second IT building with a built-up area of 6.3 lakh sq ft in a few months.
The director board, which held a meeting in Kochi on Friday, has approved Rs 250 crore for the project to be utilized before March 31, 2015. Of this, Rs 100 crore will be used for developing infrastructure such as roads and bridges and Rs 150 crore for the construction of the first IT building complex.
The construction of first IT complex with a built-up area of 6.5 lakh sq ft will be over by March next year. Chief minister Oommen Chandy said the date for inauguration of the first building would be announced later.
An agreement has been reached with three IT firms for starting their operations from the first IT building, industries minister Kunhalikkutty said.
While the first complex is being constructed in 11 acres, the second tower will require lesser area, thanks to the allocation of increased floor area ratio (FAR).
The second IT building will only require around five acres. The chief minister said that the project would generate about 12,000 to 14,000 IT jobs in the first phase which includes both these buildings. The project is coming up in 246 acres at Edachira near Kakkanad.
SmartCity chief executive officer (CEO) Gigo Joseph said the construction of infrastructure facilities for the first phase would be over by mid-2015. The water and power supply network, roads and bridges inside the IT park will be constructed utilizing Rs 100 crore. "Work on these projects has already started. The construction of Gems International School will also begin next year," he said.
Kunhalikkutty said the government would organise roadshows in major cities of the country to attract more IT firms to SmartCity.
"As we already have environmental clearance for the entire project, it's easy to go for joint developments to expedite the project. Talks are on with many companies in this regard," he said.
Abdullatif AlMulla, vice-chairman, SmartCity, Kochi, said that a major international builder was in Kochi to discuss joint development in the non-IT sector.
Though the project was mooted by the UDF government in 2004, it took eight more years to lay the foundation stone for the project.
According to the agreement signed by government of Kerala and Tecom Investments, the project is expecting an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. The whole project with a built-up area of about 88,00,000 sq ft will generate 90, 0000 IT jobs on completion.