HAL looking for design, development, manufacture, repair & overhaul plant in Gujarat
GANDHINAGAR: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), a government of India public sector undertaking directly operating under the ministry of defence, has shortlisted Gujarat for setting up a Rs 4,000 crore unit for design, development, manufacture, repair and overhaul of aircraft, aero engines and helicopters.
Well-placed sources in the state industries department told TOI on Friday that senior officials of HAL, led by its executive director, Ashok Tandon, met principal secretary, industries, Maheshwar Sahu in Gandhinagar on May 30 and discussed minor details of the project.
"State government officials offered two different locations to the HAL team - Dholera, where a special investment region (SIR) is being set up in Ahmedabad district, and Vadnagar in north Gujarat, which is chief minister Narendra Modi's birthplace.
However, the HAL team expressed its desire to locate its plant at three alternative preferences it has identified -- Dholera, Sanand and Dahej. "Its officials went to these places and have conveyed to us that they will tell us their final location in due course," a senior official said, adding, "It will be a Greenfield project."
HAL's main office is situated in Bangalore, from where the planning chief of the helicopter manufacturing division and head of the finance division also came down to Gandhinagar along with Tandon for talks. "The team told us that it wanted 600 acres of land," the official said, adding,
"When the unit starts operating, initially the HAL plans to go in for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). But it would later diversify into design, development and manufacture of aircraft, aero engines and helicopters."
State officials said, a land site along the northern tip of Dholera SIR can be an "ideal location" for the HAL, as just outside the SIR, the state government plans to set up a new commercial airport, preferably with private help. Also to be a Greenfield project, area for the airport, about 7,500 hectares (ha) of government land, has been set aside off Fedra village, 20 kilometres outside the Dholera SIR boundary. It has received a nod from the Airport Authority of India (AAI).