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NRI-promoted India’s tallest IT building coming up in SmartCity Kochi
By Ashraf Padanna June 07, 2017
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KOCHI: Construction of a 30-storey twin tower billed as the tallest building in the India’s information technology sector is progressing in the SmartCity Kochi.

Built by Sands Infrabuild, a subsidiary of multinational LuLu group headed by nonresident Indian tycoon Yusuffali MA, the four-million square feet Sands Infinity is coming up on 12.74 acres.

Officials said the Sands Infinity would be ready in 18 months with a lot of recreational areas for the IT professionals to unwind after work and conference spaces and a business lounge on the 21st floor.

The Wi-Fi campus will have a food court, supermarket, creche, gymnasium and multi-cuisine food and beverages outlets. The underground car park would accommodate 4,500 vehicles with special parking facilities for the people with disability.

They launched a greenery drive on the World Environment Day on Monday.

“We will plant 20 trees for each one cut for the project,” managing director Sharoon Shamsuddin said.

“We already have received a Platinum LEED rating received for this building, which is an example of our commitment to environment protection.” Dr Baju George, chief executive officer of SmartCity, a special economic zone of knowledge industry clusters promoted by Dubai’s Tecom Investments in the Kerala port city, said construction would be limited to 30 per cent of the 246 acres of land in its possession.

The first phase of the project, a flagship building of 650,000 sq ft housing mainly firms providing supporting services and allied infrastructure, was opened last year and five co-developers are creating some 10.085 million square feet of built-up space, creating some 100,000 jobs.

“Leaving nature to itself is the best landscaping,” he said. “We have decided to carry out construction activities by protecting the environment to the maximum.” The project was stalled during the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) dispensation (2006-11) for its objections to bringing in co-developers and was revived after former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s visit to Dubai, and he was convinced of the business model.

The buildings, mostly high-rises occupying the minimum land, and the promoters hope to create much more space for the professionals to work in the self-contained city. A per the contract with the state government, which holds 16 per cent stake, SmartCity need to build only 6.7 mn sq ft for IT and 2.1 sq ft for non-IT facilities.

The LDF, which returned to power last year, in its manifesto, had promised to add only ten mn sq ft in five years in the sector and 2.5 million jobs with a focus on IT, tourism food processing and agro-industries.

Chief Minister Vijayan, who is celebrating his first year in office, the other day, expressed confidence that that target was well within his reach.

Holiday, Prestige, Marriott and GEMS are other groups of joint-developers currently engaged in building world-class facilities here on 38.17 acres.

The SmartCity is also setting up a digital energy cluster in a first of its kind in India in 4.37 acres with a built-up area of 761,000 sq ft to attract major international players in the energy sector, opening up avenues of high-end and highly skilled job opportunities for about 10,000 professionals.

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