Modi In Aligarh: All You Should Know About The UP Defence Corridor Inspected By The Prime Minister

Modi In Aligarh: All You Should Know About The UP Defence Corridor Inspected By The Prime Minister Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor.
Snapshot
  • The UP Defence Industrial Corridor, a large part of which will come up in the Bundelkhand region, will benefit from the existing defence industrial base in Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the models of Aligarh node of Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor on Tuesday (14 September) while he was there to lay the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University.

Addressing a rally later, Modi said the UP defence corridor will play an important role in changing India's image as the largest importer of defence equipment to a major exporter of defence-related hardware. He also noted the success and reach of the Aligarh's lock and hardware industry with a small story from his childhood days, and said that the Aligarh node will replicate the success in the production of defence equipment.

Aligarh is one of the six nodes of the corridor — Agra, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, Jhansi and Lucknow being the other five centres.

The Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), the nodal agency for the defence corridor project, has said that the land allocation process in the Aligarh node has been completed.

A large part of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor will come up in the Bundelkhand region in the southern part the state.

The under-construction Bundelkhand Expressway will improve connectivity between the various nodes of the defence corridor.

Nodes of the Bundelkhand Defence Industrial Corridor. (UPEIDA)
Nodes of the Bundelkhand Defence Industrial Corridor. (UPEIDA)

The corridor will benefit from the existing defence industrial base in Uttar Pradesh. The state already has three Hindustan Aeronautics Limited manufacturing units, nine Ordnance Factories, Bharat Electronics Limited and other state-owned companies that are part of the defence sector.

Most of these plants are in Lucknow, Kanpur and the adjoining regions, which are within the 300-350 km radius of Bundelkhand.

In recent years, Kanpur has attracted investment in defence manufacturing from the private sector. Recently, the Lohia Group invested nearly Rs 100 crore in a greenfield aerospace and defence hardware plant in Kanpur.

MKU, a defence manufacturing firm headquartered in Kanpur, has been supplying equipment to the Indian Army since the last 1980s, and to militaries, paramilitaries and police services in other countries as well.

Among other things, the company is manufacturing ballistic helmets for the Indian Army at its Malwan unit in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district, a 40-minute drive from Kanpur, and a little over 130 km from Chitrakoot, one of the six nodes proposed under the defence corridor project.

As land costs rise in the existing industrial hubs such as Kanpur, Bundelkhand can emerge as a new destination for investment in defence manufacturing. The improvement in connectivity within the region and between the nodes of the defence corridor with the construction of the Bundelkhand Expressway will add to the advantage of low-cost labour and land in this part of the state.

Investment In Defence Corridor

Two years after the corridor was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, the UPEIDA has established large land banks in the six nodes.

In Aligarh alone, at least 29 companies had submitted proposals for setting up units in the Aligarh node and 19 have been allotted 55.40 hectares of land by the UPEIDA. The companies, reports say, will be establishing their factories at a cost of Rs 1,245.75 crore.

For instance, 10 hectares of land in Aligarh has been allocated to Encore Research Lab LLP and Allen and Alvan Private Limited, two companies investing over Rs 580 crore to make drones.

"All land in this [Aligarh] node is sold out,” Durgesh Upadhyay, media adviser to the UPEIDA, has been quoted as saying. “We have asked the state government to allot 30 acres more land in the Aligarh node as more investors have expressed desire to set up their units here,” he added.

Aligarh has emerged as the favorite destination for investors due to its proximity to Delhi and the National Capital Region.

Land bank of 1,000 hectares has been created in Jhansi, about 100 hectares in Chitrakoot and approximately 250 hectares in Kanpur.

The state government has shown a 200-acre piece of land in Lucknow to BrahMos Aerospace, which is planning to set up a manufacturing unit in the city.

In Jhansi, 15 hectares of land has been allocated to Delta Combat Systems Limited to set up a unit for the manufacturing of cartridges for assault, sniper and INSAS rifles at a cost of Rs 150 crore.

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