KTR pitches for Defence corridor in Hyderabad

Hyderabad ideal for such a facility as it is home to key defence research labs, IT Minister tells Union Defence Minister.

By Author  |  Published: 9th Feb 2018  12:53 amUpdated: 9th Feb 2018  1:18 am
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and IT Minister KT Rama Rao at a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and IT Minister KT Rama Rao at a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday.

Hyderabad: Telangana offers great potential for inclusion in the Defence Industrial Production Corridors proposed in the recent Union budget, Minister KT Rama Rao said on Thursday.

Rama Rao met Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi where he submitted a representation seeking Hyderabad’s inclusion in one of the two defence production corridors being planned by the Central government. He said Hyderabad was an ideal location with several important defence research labs and industries that have made the city home for many years.

Rama Rao who holds several important portfolios including IT, Industry & Commerce, Mining, Information Technology along with Municipal Administration & Urban Development, in the Telangana government along with Handlooms & Textiles and Mining had a busy day in the national capital meeting Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan and Union Minister for Mines Narendra Singh Tomar.

Clearance for Pharma City

He requested Dr Harsh Vardhan for an expeditious environmental clearance for the Pharma City project. With the country looking to ramp up domestic manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, any unstructured growth will have severe adverse impact on the environment, he said. This was the reason why the State government, Rama Rao explained, has meticulously planned the Pharma City to be a world-class cluster with common amenities and the most advanced environmental control infrastructure systems with real time monitoring.

During his meeting with Tomar, Rama Rao invited the Union Minister to attend the Mining Today 2018 conference this month as the chief guest for the event’s valedictory function.

During his meeting with Sitharaman, Rama Rao explained that Telangana was strategically located in the centre of the country and has been home for long to several public sector defence enterprises. These include several Defence Research Development Organization labs including RCI, DRDL, BDL, DMRL, Midhani, NFC and Ordnance Factory, among others.

In addition to the public sector facilities, Telangana, Rama Rao said, already has a vibrant ecosystem in private sector. Firms such as Tata Advanced Systems Limited, MTAR, ATL, SEC, ASTRA, VEM, ZEN, HBL, PEL and IDL in Telangana were established manufacturing partners for domestic and foreign original equipment manufacturers.

Well connected city

The State, he said, was well connected with the rest of the world through the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad and regional airports at Begumpet, Warangal and Ramagundam, while the IAF operates the Dundigal and Hakimpet airports. On the ground, the eight-lane high speed Outer Ring Road has put any corner of the State within a two-hour drive.

These, Rama Rao said, offer a significant advantage for defence production corridor that includes Hyderabad over other cities like Bangalore.

Further, Telangana has already identified aerospace and defence as priority industries and has two operational Aerospace Manufacturing Parks near Adibatla region, besides an aerospace park operated by GMR adjoining the international airport. The State is also planning to set up a larger aerospace and defence park in Eliminedu and create another aerospace cluster within the National Investments and Manufacturing Zone in Medak district. The State is also planning to set up a defence incubator in Hyderabad with support from the Central government, he said.

Several reasons cited

Leading international defence manufacturers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, RUAG and Pilatus have selected Hyderabad for setting up their manufacturing units and production of spares through their Indian JV partner Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. International aircraft engine manufacturers like Pratt and Whitney and CFM had chosen Hyderabad to locate their engine training centres in India.

Making Hyderabad more attractive for the proposed defence production corridor is the fact that nearly 1000 small and medium enterprises in the State are exclusively working for Indian and global defence and aerospace industry. Telangana is also well-placed to provide employable technically trained workforce, he said.

Providing further reasons for selecting Hyderabad, Rama Rao said Telangana also tops in Ease of Doing Business and is strategically safe, seismically stable and well connected to the major defence establishments in the four command zone.