Decks cleared for BATL phase II development

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by neo29, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    After months of delay, phase II development of BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (BATL), Chakkai, should be off the blocks soon. With Defence Minister A K Antony finally getting into the act, the Air Force has agreed to hand over land for BATL development and settle for a plot at Muttathara near here, it is understood. Replying to a question, the Defence Minister told the Lok Sabha on Monday that phase II would begin once the Air Force gave its land. Additional land is crucial for BATL to establish a missile integration complex. The Thiruvananthapuram district administration has agreed to demarcate seven acres of land at Muttathara by December 10, sources said. Last week, BATL and Southern Air Command (SAC) officials had visited the spot, sources said. BATL officials said they expected an end to the impasse soon and to begin work on phase II. ‘’No development will be possible without land,’’ a top official said. Antony had laid the foundation-stone for BATL phase II in January 2009, but it remained on paper. For phase II, BATL had been eyeing 7.25 acres of land currently home to the Air Force Signals Unit, which lies next to the BATL plot at Chakkai. The SAC had agreed to hand over the land provided it was given land to build accommodation for personnel. This has not been easy since the SAC had found the substitute plots identified by the State Government unsuitable for its purpose. In one instance, local people had even objected to further land acquisition in their area. Though the land at Muttathara was identified some time back, the Air Force had not given a definite ‘yes’ to the proposal. But things are on the move now following media reports that development at BATL was dragging. BATL is set to celebrate its third birthday on January 1, 2011. BATL was formed after BrahMos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian venture to build the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles, took over State Government PSU Kerala Hitech Industries Ltd (KELTEC) three years ago.

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