The Gujarat government has earmarked over 200 square kilometres of land to set up a firing range at Dholera SIR (Special Investment Region), based on a proposal received from the Indian Army.
The firing range will be used for testing of weapons.
“It will be a five-kilometre wide and 25-kilometre long patch,” Jai Prakash Shivhare, Managing Director of Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL), told media persons on Thursday on the sidelines of the 2nd Gujarat Aviation Conclave 2019.
“It will be used for testing of weapons which will be developed. The project was taken up after we got a request from the Indian Army,” he said.
“There are only a few firing ranges in India, including the ones at Pokharan and one at Balasore. Most of the times, these firing ranges are occupied and there is a long queue for tests to be done,” Shivhare said.
The IAS officer said that the Gujarat government had got a similar proposal from the Baba Kalyani Group.
“Initially we were looking at two sites, one in Kutch and the other in Dholera. We have zeroed in on Dholera,” said Shivhare, adding that the proposed firing range will be open to private players too.
The 200-square kilometers of land that has been identified for the purpose is “mostly” government land and is close to the seashore.
“Once the firing range starts, it becomes easier for defence manufacturers to come and set up their manufacturing units (in the area),” the IAS officer said.
Tata Group to invest Rs 4,000 cr in Dholera SIR
Tata Group has already said it would be investing Rs 4,000 crore in Dholera SIR to set up a lithium ion battery manufacturing unit.
“Torrent Power will be providing electricity to this unit at Rs 4.65 per unit which will be cheapest rate in the country,” Shivhare said.
International airport at Dholera SIR
The IAS officer also said that over 7 million cubic metre of soil will be needed for earth-work for the international airport at Dholera SIR.
“Two large reservoirs are being made in the region, which will yield about 10 million cubic feet of soil that will be used for the international airport,” the official added.
Currently, the Airports Authority of India owns the majority 51 per cent stake in the Dholera International Airport Company Limited (DIACL), while the Gujarat government owns 33 per cent stake and the National Industrial Corridor Development and Implemen-tation Trust owns the remaining 16 per cent.