The Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC) has decided to set up a vodka manufacturing plant in collaboration with a Russian-based liquor company in Kannauj, Dimple Yadav’s parliamentary constituency.
Having been on Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s priority list for long, the plant, worth nearly Rs 800 crore, will be set up on 120 acres of land, to be provided by the UPSIDC.
According to the government’s estimate, the proposed plant will give direct employment to about 1,000 people, besides giving a readymade market to the potato farmers of Kannauj.
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The state’s Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) had held a seminar in 2012, inviting several liquor companies. Experts had pointed out then that the potatoes produced in Kannauj and nearby areas are suitable for manufacturing vodka. The government continued to pursue the project but nothing materialised until a firm evinced interest.
“Officials from the company concerned have met us and shown keen interest in setting up a vodka manufacturing plant. Things are being discussed and we will take up the land allotment issue once the deal is finalised,” managing director of UPSIDC Manoj Kumar Singh told The Indian Express, adding the firm (Delhi-based Newara Enterprises having tie-up with a Russia-based liquor company) has been asked to submit a detailed project report.
Government officials say the plant is meant to act as a prospective buyer of potatoes produced in Kannauj – one of the leading potato-producing districts in the state – and adjoining areas.
Besides the vodka plant, Dimple’s parliamentary constituency will soon have its ethanol biomass energy project going underway. Gujarat-based Platinum Green Energy, engaged in the production of liquid fuel using waste potato and power generation from biomass, will undersee the nearly Rs 140 crore worth project, and for which 25 acres of land has already been allotted. Employment generation being the feature of this project, too, nearly 150 people directly and around 500 indirectly are said to benefit from the biomass unit, as per government’s estimates.
In order to maintain Kannauj on its development radar, the state government will further set up two mega food parks in the district, for which it has earmarked 200 acres of land. A maize processing plant of Vardhman Group carrying an investment of Rs 108 crore, too, has been finalised, with land allotment of 29.31 acres finalised in February.
Since both the vodka plant and the biomass project require potatoes for their production, local farmers are going to be biggest beneficiary. “All these projects are linked to development of farmers. The projects will bring in investment,” Manoj Singh said.