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01 December 2023

Al Tayer to visit Kerala to salvage Smart City

By Joseph George

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Governor Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer is visiting Kerala in a last attempt to salvage the Smart City Kochi project.

In a meeting held with UAE-based Indian businessman M A Yusuf Ali on Sunday evening, Al Tayer is said to have discussed the agenda for the crucial meeting the State government of Kerala is scheduled to have on February 2.

The Smart City project which was initially agreed to in 2003 has been delayed due to various stumbling blocks, the latest being the dispute over freehold rights over 12 per cent of the land.

According to reports, an understanding is said to have been reached between both parties, Tecom and the State government of Kerala to allow freehold rights over 12 per cent of the land earmarked for the project.

While Tecom has been demanding that freehold rights for 12 per cent of the land outside the Special Economic Zone, Kerala is opposed to this.

Ali, who was recently appointed by Kerala as a mediator, speaking to Emirates 24|7 after last evening's meeting with Al Tayer, said he was very confident that the issues will be resolved soon and the project would become a reality.

“The team will be flying out to Kerala on Tuesday in a special chartered flight. The meeting with the governor was very constructive and we are all very hopeful that the all the disputes will be sorted in Wednesday's meeting,” said Ali.