KOCHI: Now, it’s almost certain that the much-hyped Rs 200-crore National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding (Nirdesh) project at Chaliyam in Kozhikode will be a non-starter.
The 2019 Budget too has failed to make any reference on the project which has almost become dysfunctional with the Union Ministry of Finance raising an objection to the project in 2017.
After the Union Budget 2018, senior Congress leaders, including Kozhikode MP M K Raghavan, were hopeful of convincing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) about making a fair allocation for Nirdesh. But nothing concrete happened and the project remained in limbo.
“The Ministry of Finance has raised some concerns on the project. Currently, none knows about its status,” said a Congress leader. In fact, Nirdesh doesn’t even have an official portal.
Though Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was apprised of the status of the project for which the state government had allotted over 40 acres, the project has not yet received the green light. Even the Cabinet Committee has raised an objection to 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.