Centre asks UP govt to expedite land acquisition for Defence Corridor

UP chief secretary R K Tiwari said nearly 90 per cent or more than 1,300 hectares of total 1,461 hectares approved for the Corridor had been acquired by the state
The Centre today asked the Adityanath government to expedite land acquisition for the mega UP Defence Corridor, which is expected to span nearly 5,000 hectares across six nodes, namely, Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Kanpur and Lucknow.

So far, the state has taken possession of over 1,300 hectares, while projects with investments totalling Rs 3,732 crore have been launched. These include Rs 1,077 crore by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Rs 1,200 crore by Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL), Rs 240 crore PTC Industries, Rs 200 crore Bharat Forge and Rs 900 crore by Kanpur-based MKU.

Presiding over a virtual conference, defence minister Rajnath Singh asked the UP government to complete all the ongoing projects according to their timelines, while forging close coordination with the investors to redress their grievances.

Meanwhile, Singh informed the cabinet note of the new defence manufacturing policy was ready and would be released in September 2020. He directed the state to speed up the process of land acquisition in Lucknow and Agra nodes.

Recently, Indian Navy had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) for setting up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the Defence Corridor to promote research and innovation in defence sector.

UP chief secretary R K Tiwari said nearly 90 per cent or more than 1,300 hectares of total 1,461 hectares approved for the Corridor had been acquired by the state, while land was being identified on the outskirts of Lucknow and outside the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) in Agra districts.

Meanwhile, UP additional chief secretary and UPEIDA CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi informed the defence minister the state had speeded up projects under the Corridor and new policies had also been framed, including Defence and Aerospace Manufacturing Employment Promotion Policy 2018.

He informed Titan Aviation and Aerospace India Limited will invest more than Rs 36,000 crore in Jhansi, for which the detailed project report (DPR) had been submitted.

“So far, 32 MoUs have been signed relating to the UP Defence Corridor. The state has received proposals from investors based in South Korea and Ukraine,” Awasthi added.

Recently, German military and security hardware/technology major Rheinmetall had also evinced interest in the UP Defence Corridor.

Rheinmetall Group is Europe’s foremost supplier of defence and security ware, and is a partner of the armed forces of Germany and its NATO allies. It is gradually transforming into a global player with a series of acquisitions and setting up of foreign subsidiaries.

As part of the ‘Invest UP’ theme, UP investment promotion and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) minister Sidharth Nath Singh had recently held a virtual conference with Susanne Wiegand, CEO of Rheinmetall Electronics Division, and Fabian Ochsner, CEO, Rheinmetall Air Defence, in view of their proposed investment.

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