LUCKNOW: In a major industrial push to Uttar Pradesh, and in a bid to promote the state as a defence manufacturing hub, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and CM Yogi Adityanath launched the first phase of projects under the ambitious UP Defence Corridor in Aligarh on Saturday.
Aligarh is one of the six nodal points identified for the defence corridor, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at UP Investors Summit in February this year. The other five points are Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Chitrakoot and Jhansi.
Stakeholder interactions have already been held in Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra and Jhansi. As per state government sources, 32,000 hectares of land has been earmarked for the corridor, which will come at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore and is likely to create jobs for at least 2.5 lakh people.
Launching the projects under defence corridor, the defence minister exhorted the manufacturers not only to cater to the requirement of the three wings of the Indian armed forces but also tap global markets to increase the export of defence equipment.
Inviting investors and MSMEs to come forward and be a part of an industrial revolution in UP, Sitharaman said: “There is a global demand for world-class defence equipment and products. I urge all of you to increase your defence export potential. We are willing to work with you to reach this goal.’’
Calling on start-ups and MSMEs to market innovative products, the defence minister said industries could offer suo motu proposals for defence solutions.
“Aligarh Innovative Manufacturing will set an example for finding innovative ways to defence solutions. If you give us good quality products, we will give you orders for the next 10 years,” the defence minister told the manufactures and potential investors.
Meanwhile, CM Yogi Adityanath requested the defence minister to allow Uttar Pradesh to host the Aero India Show, which is slated to be held in October this year.
“I request the defence minister to hold the Aero India show in UP this time. I promise to provide all facilities and proper arrangement for the mega event. I request the defence minister to make the announcement in this regard soon,” said the CM.
As per reports, the Central government has decided to advance the Aero India show by at least five months this time, perhaps due to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
As per the normal schedule, the air show was to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019.
If held in Uttar Pradesh, it would be the first time since its inception in 1996 that Aero India would shift out of its home venue at Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru.