UP government acquires 3,500 acres of land for the Defence Corridor

Yogi Adityanath. Photo: PTI
Uttar Pradesh government has acquired nearly 3,500 acres of land for its flagship Defence Corridor project, which is estimated to attract public and private sector investment to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore.

“While we have already acquired 3,500 acres of land near Jhansi district for the proposed Defence Corridor, similar steps are also in the pipeline at other places,” UP industrial development minister Satish Mahana told Business Standard here today.

In recent past, the Yogi Adityanath government has speeded up the process of acquiring land for the Corridor since UP is hosting the 11th National Defence Expo in Lucknow on February 5-8, 2020.

Top defence manufacturers in USA, Russia, Australia, Israel, Germany etc are expected to participate in the event, which is being organised in Lucknow at the initiative of defence minister Rajnath Singh, who represents the constituency in Lok Sabha.

In his recent visit to Lucknow, Singh had said this edition of Expo would be the largest in terms of the exhibition area and number of national and international participants, apart from the value of memorandum of understanding (MoU) expected to be signed.

On February 15, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation of Defence Corridor in Jhansi district. He had announced about the setting up of the Corridor at the inauguration ceremony of UP Investors Summit in Lucknow on 21 February, 2018. The Corridor is expected to create about 250,000 new job opportunities.

India is the world’s largest military hardware importer and among top military spenders. For meeting modernisation needs of the armed forces, India will acquire equipment worth US$ 250 billion by 2027, however, the current delivery capacity of the domestic defence sector is merely US$ 75-80 billion annually, indicating huge potential for indigenous industry.

On November 27, 2019, a five-member delegation led by Mark Goldsack, the Director of the UK-based Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) in the Department for International Trade (DIT) had visited Lucknow and evinced interest to invest in the UP Defence Corridor, which spans six nodes at Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Chitrakoot.

The DSO helps the UK defence and security industry in achieving export success by building relationships with overseas governments, raising awareness of UK industry capabilities and coordinating government support for export opportunities in established and developing markets. It offers export advice and practical assistance, working closely with industry and the UK ministry of defence, the home office and other government departments and agencies.

Meanwhile, Mahana inaugurated ‘Manthan’, a two-day brainstorming and leadership development programme for UP’s top bureaucrats being held in association with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow.

The minister noted that in view of the state targetting to become a $ trillion economy by 2024, it was imperative for UP to spur industrial development.

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