Construction starts at Dubai-linked IT city in India
Ground broken on first stage of SmartCity Kochi
Construction work of the much delayed SmartCity Kochi, a joint venture project involving Dubai's Tecom Investments, started on Saturday.
The first phase of the IT park scheme, which plans to provide more than 90,000 jobs, is expected to be completed in two years, India's IBNLive.com reported.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said the first phase would create about 7,000 jobs.
His comments came at a ceremonial ground breaking ceremony of the 6,000 sq ft pavillion building which will be completed within 14 weeks, the news website added.
The entire project is expected to be completed in five years time, Chandy, who is the chief patron of the project, was quoted as saying.
Chandy said roadshows to attract investors to the project would begin immediately.
Abdullatif Al Mulla, Group CEO of Tecom Investments, said the SmartCity project was a very "vital" one, adding that finance would not be a constraint.
The deal with the State Government of Kerala for the SmartCity Kochi scheme has been dogged by delays but a lease agreement signed in March gave it new momentum.
For Tecom, the deal represents a big step in its international expansion strategy of creating successful prototypes of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City at various locations worldwide.
SmartCity Kochi will be one of India's largest business parks and include a range of retail, hospitality, residential and recreational facilities.