Foundation stone laid for Hindustan Aeronautics’ Kerala unit

August 23rd, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Kasargod (Kerala), Aug 23 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony laid the foundation stone for the strategic electronics manufacturing unit of the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) here Saturday.The factory will come up on 200 acres at an industrial park of Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corp (Kinfra) in this north Kerala town at an investment of Rs.2 billion ($47.6 million).

The HAL unit is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2009-10.

Addressing a gathering at the function, Antony said the defence planned to open more defence related industrial units in Kerala.

He said the Ezhimala Naval Academy, which is coming up in the neighbouring Kannur district, would be fully commissioned early next year.

“The work started on naval academy 21 years ago. It was proceeding at a slow pace. Recently, the central government has allotted Rs.221 crore (Rs.2.21 billion) for the academy to quickly complete the project,” Antony said.

According to Antony, “the problem with Kerala is that all the projects here end up in controversies. The issue of development should remain above politics,” the minister added.

Indirectly referring to the Left parties’ withdrawal of support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre, Antony said the “political realignment” would not affect the central government’s cooperation with Left-ruled Kerala.

“I can assure you that political realignment at the centre will not affect the centre’s cooperation with the state,” he said.

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