Adding to the basket of projects being launched before the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would lay the foundation of industrial and infrastructure projects totalling Rs 65,000 crore in Kanpur next month.
The Uttar Pradesh government is organising a mega ‘ground breaking’ ceremony for these projects in the industrial town of Kanpur on March 8. Earlier, the state had proposed to host the ceremony on February 27, however it got postponed.
“We are preparing to host the ceremony on March 8 for the foundation laying of projects worth Rs 65,000 crore. There could be even more projects, but we are conducing our due diligence so that all companies are on board before we announce the total value of such projects,” UP industrial development minister Satish Mahana told Business Standard in Lucknow today. He said the state was now awaiting final confirmation by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) regarding the proposed March 8 programme.
These projects are part of total Rs 4.68 trillion worth of memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed by the Yogi Adityanath government with more than 1,000 private and public sector companies at the ‘UP Investors Summit’ in Lucknow on 21-22 February, 2018. The Summit was also inaugurated by Modi.
The first ‘ground breaking’ ceremony was held in Lucknow on July 29, 2018, in which the PM had laid the foundation of about 80 projects worth Rs 60,000 crore. On the occasion, he had called upon UP to compete with Maharashtra for becoming the first trillion dollar economy in India.
Interestingly, the second ground breaking ceremony has been getting delayed multiple times over the past few months, owing to factors, including incomplete groundwork, apart from land acquisition and clearance hurdles. Chief minister Adityanath had last year expressed displeasure over the slow pace of the follow-up of these projects and directed officials to expedite their processing.
Meanwhile, a large number of industrialists, investors and industry representatives are expected to participate in the March 8 function, which is also aimed at putting Kanpur back on the industrial landscape of UP and India.
Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, where Modi would seek reelection against the joint opposition, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on an overdrive to launch projects before the Election Commission (EC) declares the dates of polls and the model code of conduct comes into force, which would restrict the governments from launching new projects or making fresh announcements.
On February 15, Modi had laid the foundation of Bundelkhand Defence Industrial Corridor in Jhansi district of UP. It is expected to attract investment of more than Rs 20,000 crore. The Corridor comprised various infrastructure projects totalling over Rs 40,000 crore in the arid Bundelkhand region, which were either inaugurated or witnessed foundation laying by the PM.