SOURCE: Express News Service

Defence ancillary unit Add Engineering Components (India) Pvt Ltd (AECPL), which had applied for a patch of land to set up its unit, continues to wait as Karnataka State Small Scale Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) has failed to respond to its request. 

Girish Linganna, director of AECPL, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH, Germany, a supplier of high-tech cutting tools, said the firm is struggling to set up the industry. The company had applied for land in Nelamangala Industrial Estate in 2018, to establish a unit to supply cutting tools to HAL, which hopes to manufacture 24 Tejas Mark II fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

AECPL is working with Advanced Integration Technology LP (AIT), a US-based firm linked to Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of F-35 fighter jets.Considering the importance of the company’s project, former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had instructed KSSIDC to consider the application. Several letters from senior political leaders also reached the KSSIDC office, but failed to evoke a response. 

Earlier this year, KSSIDC MD Mahesh Shiroor had cited legal hurdles to allocate land, but failed to answer questions like the delay in replying to the applicant and accepting applications for land allocation, when the matter was sub judice since 2017. Linganna has now requested the state government to allocate land through KIADB instead.AECPL has its corporate office in Germany and Russia, and started a design centre in Bengaluru in 2015 with experts like Norbert Kreller.

When contacted, Shiroor said the matter is sub judice. “The reservation process adopted in allocation of sites has been challenged in the High Court… Many applicants who want to set up units are unhappy. But courts are closed since April and will open next week. We thought the matter might be disposed of early, but it may take more time considering the Covid-19 situation,” he said. “We have requested an early hearing and also written to the government asking whether we should go ahead with allocation or refund the applicants.”