Dholera making it big as defence manufacturing hub

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018

Investment boost Farmers at Sarsla village in Dholera discussingthe Special Investment Region project (file photo)

Industrial city in Gujarat offers 8 sq km plots to defence companies

Dholera, an industrial city coming up over 920 sq km in Gujarat under the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), has caught the attention of planners in New Delhi. Attempts are being made to develop it as an artillery and aerospace hub.

Industrial plots measuring 8 sq km are being offered to global defence suppliers for testing and storage of equipment.

Dholera is an ancient port town in the Gulf of Khambatt. Next to the old settlement is the new industrial city, being developed as a node under the $90-billion DMIC project.

Los Angeles-based management consultant Aecom infrastructure is handling the main project planning and execution.

Jagadish Salgaonkar, Senior Vice-President of Aecom, told BusinessLine that anything in defence space, such as artillery, tanks, jeeps and big guns, can be made in Dholera.

Ready to make

All these units need large areas to operate and test their equipment. “We are in touch with the Ministry of Defence for Dholera. Whenever the Defence Minister strikes a big defence deal, all those equipments can be built there,” Salgaonkar said.

The city is being developed in phases. In the first phase, ₹4,400 crore is being pumped in to develop basic infrastructure so that companies can just plug in and start their operations. None of the South Asian countries offer 8 sq km plots for defence companies, he said.

MRO market

“Our target market is maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) facilities for aircraft, defence contractors and heavy machinery manufactures, which require huge land for inventory management. Companies dealing with helicopters and aircraft can set up shops here. Along with large manufacturers, 100 SMEs will also come to Dholera,” Salgaonkar said.

He added that since the land is owned by the State government, contiguous land parcels can be made available to companies. This can be provided for future expansion of the industrial units.

Transport facilities

Dholera is also being connected to Ahmedabad with a metro line, which will halve the travel time. About ₹800 crore is also being invested in setting up an airport in Dholera to compliment the MRO facilities.

Salgaonkar added that when the anchor industries come up they are expected to spend a minimum of ₹45,000 crore on the factories and office buildings.

The multiplier effect is huge — in five years ₹1 lakh crore of investments are expected in the city.

Published on February 18, 2016

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