With the Tata-Airbus project to make the C-295 military aircraft also going to Gujarat, Maharashtra's opposition Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday slammed Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for being "ineffective".
NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said that after the Vedanta-Foxconn project was shifted to Gujarat in mid-September, Shinde had assured the people of this state that the Tata-Airbus military aircraft manufacturing plant will come up in Nagpur.
"However, now it transpires that even the Tata-Airbus project of Rs 21,935 crore for manufacturing 56 aircraft will come up in Gujarat... CM Shinde has not commented on this so far," he said.
Besides the Vedanta-Foxconn and the bulk drugs project, now Maharashtra has lost even the prestigious Tata-Airbus project which will directly impact the unemployed youth of the state, he pointed out.
"If all mega-projects intended for Maharashtra keep shifting out of here, then how will the people here get jobs, how will the state develop? It's the CM's bounden duty to ensure such things don't happen, but he is unable to prevent it," Tapase added sharply.
In what is billed as a major boost to the 'Make In India' initiative and domestic aviation manufacturing sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform the ground-breaking ceremony for the Tata-Airbus' proposed transport aircraft plant for the Indian Air Force at Vadodara on October 30.
The first 16 fly-away C-295MW aircraft are scheduled for delivery between September 2023-August 2025, while the first of the 40 locally made aircraft are likely from September 2026.
The C-295MW is a 5-10 tonnes capacity transport aircraft with contemporary technology, short take-off and from semi-prepared surfaces and will replace the IAF's aging fleet of Avros.
It also has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo, which strengthen the logistics capabilities of the IAF.
The Centre had approved the procurement of the 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A. Spain in Sep. 2021.
Later, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the two companies which will entail 40 of the 56 aircraft to be manufactured here by the Indian contractor, a consortium of Tata Advances Systems Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services.
This will be the first of its kind project in which a military aircraft - which can also be deployed for civilian purposes - shall be manufactured in India by a private company.
All the 56 aircraft shall be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian DPSUs like Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd.