The Gujarat government is working on the Indian Army’s request, to set up a 200 sq km multi-weapon firing range, at Dholera Smart City - about 100 km from Ahmedabad.
Jai Prakash Shivahare, Managing Director of Dholera Industrial City Development Ltd. (DICDL) stated that the said the firing range will be built at Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR). The range will primarily be used by the Indian Army and Air Force, but will also be open for private players for testing defence products.
“The Indian Army has been looking for a firing range. Also, we have received inquiries from defence manufacturing players such as Baba Kalyani Group for the same. Based on their requirement for a firing range with 25 kms length and five kms width, we have identified a land area in Dholera SIR,” Shivahare said here on the sidelines of the second Gujarat Aviation Conclave 2019 organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently.
He said that once the firing range is operational, it would help attract other defence manufacturing investments to the Dholera region.
The project has received in-principle approval from the authorities concerned including the State government.
The identified land for the firing range includes government-owned land as well as some private land. “We will compensate the private owners for the land. The firing range will be close to the coastline in the Gulf of Cambay,” he commented.
According to Shivahare, there are currently only a few firing ranges available in the country to test defence products. These include Devlali near Nashik in Maharashtra; Pokhran in Rajasthan; Balasore in Odisha; Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu; and Ichchapore in West Bengal among others for testing various categories of weapons and ammunition.
Initially, the government was considering two sites - Kutch and Dholera - for the firing range. But eventually, the authorities had selected Dholera.
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