Lucknow: Lucknow, the state capital of Indias most populous state, is echoing with stuka screams of fighter jets with only one day left for the official inauguration of the much-hyped Defence Expo 2020. The five-day-long defence technology exhibitions 11th edition will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and will be followed by a live demonstration of flypast by the pilots of the Indian Air Force and a seminar on skill development in aviation and defence.
The city residents were thrilled to see the Jaguar planes being flown by Group Captain Amit Dubey, Wing Commander Manoj and Deepak Kumar. The Jaguar flying team made several formations in the sky, while the Tejas aircrafts, doing rehearsals for the event, also performed many stunts. The herculean Globemaster aircraft, however, could not participate in the rehearsal on Monday due to reasons known best to the staff.
The Suryakiran Aerobatic team, which was formed in 1996 and had made its last performance in 2011, also took part in the rehearsal with its four MK132 planes.
The newly-appointed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawal will also participate in the event and will be coming to Lucknow on Wednesday, along with the Chiefs of Air Force, Navy and the Indian Army. An alert has been sounded in the Central Command area for their arrival.
Official sources in the Lucknow Central Command told PSU Watch that General Rawal will also visit the Gorkha Rifle Regimental centre and will inspect the defence technology equipment kept on the exhibit.
It may be mentioned that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is also an MP from Lucknow, will review the preparations of the event from Tuesday. He is also scheduled to meet UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to discuss the event.
There should not be any kind of doubt that the Central government and the UP government are banking high on this event to attract foreign investment. The event will see participation from 857 Indian and 172 foreign companies. According to official information, the government is eyeing an investment of over Rs 20,000 crore from the event. For this, a series of 12 seminars will be held in the five-day-long exhibition, besides five live demonstrations and business to business meetings.
UP Industrial Development Minister Satish Mahana said during a press interaction that 12 companies are expected to sign MoU on the first day and UP is expecting a record history-making investment of Rs 20,000 crore. A major reason for holding the Defence Expo in Uttar Pradesh this year is to build traction for the upcoming defence corridor. Several national and international companies will be coming to interact with us to see how they can set up units here, Mahana said. The defence corridor will cover Aligarh, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Kanpur, Lucknow and Agra.
The land acquisition is yet to begin in Lucknow and Agra. So far, 1,142 hectare has been acquired against the 1,456 hectare identified in other nodes. The acquisition has been slowest in Kanpur, where only 17 hectare has been acquired against the identified 218 hectare.