All set for opening of Kochi Smart City on February 20

Kochi, Feb 6 (IANS) A final review meeting was held here on Saturday to finalise the programme for the February 20 opening of Kerala’s much-delayed mega IT project- the Kochi Smart City .

The review meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson and other top officials from the state government and representatives of project partner, Dubai Holdings.

Thomson told reporters after the meeting that this would be a function as has never been witnessed in the state before.

Among those taking part would include Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, UAE’s Cabinet Affairs Minister and Dubai Holdings chairman Mohammed Al Gargawi, Dubai Holdings vice chairman and managing director Ahmad Binbyat and other top dignitaries from the state government and from Dubai Holdings.

The first phase that would be inaugurated is the 6.5 lakh square feet building, in which, according to Baju George, interim CEO, Kochi Smart City , 27 IT companies have already taken 75 percent of the leasable space and many of them have already started their fit-out jobs.

“We are expecting them to be fully functional within the next 3 to 4 months. We are holding on to an entire floor for an IT major, the decision on which is expected in the coming days. Once fully operational, the Phase 1 can generate a minimum of 5,000 job opportunities in one shift, and will go up as many of them might have more than one shift,” said George.

The review meeting also finalised arrangements for the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the second phase — of a 47 lakh square feet building.

This signature IT project, coming up on 246 acres at Kochi, was first mooted in 2004 during the first term of Chandy but got delayed and it was only in 2014 that the construction of the first phase began.

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