UP to push Defence CorridorUP to push Defence Corridor

Virendra Singh Rawat

Armed with prestigious military hardware projects including BrahMos missile manufacturing plant, the Uttar Pradesh government has earmarked Rs 750 crore for the flagship UP Defence Corridor.

The allocated budget will be spent on land acquisition and ramping up infrastructure across the six nodes of the Corridor to speed up the lined up defence projects.

The six nodes of the Corridor comprise Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Aligarh, Chitrakoot and Agra. The BrahMos unit, a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPOM, is coming up in Lucknow.

So far, nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) has acquired about 1,600 hectares of land for allotment to private investors.

According to officials, the maximum chunk of Rs 250 crore will be spent in the Jhansi node, followed by Chitrakoot node Rs 125 crore.

The state is targetting to attract more domestic and multinational defence manufacturers in the domains of sophisticated weapons, drones, defence electronic gadgets, ammunition etc, he added.

“The BrahMos project is a milestone defence manufacturing project. It will not only be revolutionary in technology, but will ensure thousands of jobs are created in the state,” UP industrial development minister Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi said.

He said it was a matter of pride for UP to be contributing towards India’s defence goals and ensuring self-reliance in defence manufacturing. “Aatmanirbhar Bharat motto is our avowed commitment and soon India will emerge as a major defence exporter in the world.”

Moreover, Bharat Dynamics has proposed defence sector investment in Jhansi, while Adani Group plans to develop an integrated ammunition facility spanning 250 acres by investing nearly Rs 1,500 crore.

So far, UP Defence Corridor has clocked investment of Rs 20,000 crore even as chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to follow up and expedite these projects.

“National and international companies have proposed investment in the UP Defence Corridor, which is playing a vital role in making India a global defence manufacturing hub,” he said recently.

India, which is among the top defence ware importers, is eyeing $5 billion exports in defence manufacturing in near future. The two defence corridors in UP and another in Tamil Nadu are cogs in the Centre’s action plan to achieve this goal.

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Earlier, the state amended the UP Defence and Aerospace Employment Promotion Policy to woo the private sector to invest either as a standalone entity or by forming a joint venture.

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