Yogi seeks coordination with defence ministry over UP defence corridor

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to expedite work on the defence corridor project in the state. 

He has instructed the nodal agency, UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), to coordinate with the defence ministry, so that defence manufacturing units can be set up in the corridor, which is estimated to attract investment to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore.

On February 15, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation of Bundelkhand Defence Industrial Corridor in Jhansi district. He had announced the corridor, after inaugurating the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow on February, 21, 2018. The defence manufacturing infrastructure would span 6 nodes at Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Chitrakoot and create an estimated 250,000 jobs.

It is among the flagship projects of the BJP government in UP. So far, memorandums of understandings (MoU) worth Rs 4,000 crore have reportedly been signed with public and private sector companies.

According to UP infrastructure and industrial development principal secretary R K Singh, investment worth Rs 500 crore is in the pipeline for the defence corridor.

The Adityanath government has identified nearly 5,000 hectares for the corridor. Earlier, the Centre had de-licensed 275 defence wares to encourage private investment in the sector. These items have been clubbed as ‘non-core items’ of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). The Army can float tenders, in which both, the private sector and the OFB can participate.

India is the world’s largest military hardware importer and among top 5 military spenders. To meet the modernisation needs of the armed forces, India will acquire equipment worth $250 billion by 2027. However, the current delivery capacity of the domestic defence sector is merely $75-80 billion annually, indicating huge potential for the indigenous industry.

Meanwhile, the CM, while reviewing various UPEIDA projects on Monday, directed officials to speed up three road infra projects, including the Purvanchal Expressway, the Bundelkhand Expressway and the Ganga Expressway. These projects are expected to cost Rs 23,000 crore, Rs 14,000 crore and Rs 36,000 crore, respectively.

Purvanchal Expressway would provide seamless connectivity between backward eastern UP districts to the National Capital Region (NCR) via Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway. A total of 4,332 hectares would be acquired for Purvanchal Expressway, traversing 9 districts viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.

Bundelkhand Expressway will touch 7 districts viz. Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts. It would require 3,642 hectares, of which nearly 2,200 hectares have been acquired so far.

The 600-km long Ganga Expressway would link Prayagraj with western UP and require the acquisition of 6,556 hectares of land and traverse 12 districts viz. Meerut, Amroha, Bulandshahar, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratagarh and Prayagraj. It is expected to cost Rs 36,000 crore and link the dry region with the state hinterland.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel