Defence corridor blueprint unveiled

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman disclosed the blueprint for the Uttar Pradesh defence industrial corridor that was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow.

The country’s second such corridor will link Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Kanpur, and Lucknow.

Sitharaman and Union defence production secretary Ajay Kumar hinted on Day 2 of the summit that the proposed ₹20,000-crore project of the state will be bigger than the one linking Chennai and Bengaluru.

“Already UP’s share is the biggest in the sector with six public sector undertakings purely in defence in Kanpur in the form of six ordnance factories and a total of 13 in the entire state. But in the past 25 years, they have been lifeless. They have to be activated and re-energised,” the defence minister said.

The 13 that the minister mentioned included the three Hindustan Aeronautic Limited divisions in Kanpur, Lucknow, and Korwa in Amethi.

Teams from the defence ministry will visit Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Chitrakoot, and Jhansi in the next three months for the groundwork, she announced.

Defence production secretary Kumar said: “We estimate that the UP corridor will generate production worth ₹50,000 crore in the next 10 years.”

Sitharaman and Kumar were in Lucknow to attend the defence and aerospace manufacturing session at the summit, where chief minister Yogi Adityanath spoke about the latent advantage UP offered for the corridor.

“UP is an ideal place and offers potential in the field of defence and aerospace. We invite defence automobile manufacturing, defence components, testing facility and test ranges, drone manufacturing and testing, aerospace parks, fighter jets and helicopter manufacturing and assembly,” Yogi said.

Listing the state’s advantages, he said Uttar Pradesh is located along the Golden Quadrilateral road network, which provides quick and strategic access to the national capital region, and to markets and resource. The railway network, a dry port coming up in Jewar near New Delhi, and the fact that the state has the biggest micro, small and medium enterprise network are additional advantages, the chief minister said.

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