Kozhikode's Nirdesh project draws a blank in Union Budget 2018
By Ajay Kanth | Express News Service | Published: 02nd February 2018 01:10 AM |
KOZHIKODE: The fate of the Rs 200 crore National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (Nirdesh) project at Chaliyam in Kozhikode will become clearer in the next few days as the defence ministry is expected to finalise fund allocation for its projects soon.
Though the Union budget has not made any direct reference to the project, Kozhikode MP MK Raghavan said that he will do the needful to convince the defence ministry about the need to revive the project soon.
“I have been taking up the matter with the Union government. In fact, the government has reportedly made an allocation of Rs 40 crore for the project. Will do the necessary follow-up with the defence ministry,” he said.
A clearer picture on the future of the project, which has been lying idle for the past two years, will emerge only when the defence ministry finalises funds for its projects from the defence allocation fund in the Union budget.
As per reports, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been apprised of the status of the project for which the state government has already allotted more than 40 acres. Even after several rounds of discussion, the Centre has been reluctant to revive it.
The cabinet committee is yet to clear the project, citing various reasons. It was in 2011 that the then Defence Minister A K Antony laid the foundation stone for the project. There were allegations that the project was conceived and brought to Kerala for political gain without conducting proper financial and technical planning. Now, with just three staff, Nirdesh has been carrying out research work.