Lucknow, November 22 (HS): Sonbhadra, an aspirational district in Uttar Pradesh, once notorious for Naxalite activities, has now become a sought-after investment hub in the state, shedding its historical shadow.
According to data from the state government, this eastern Uttar Pradesh district, which was previously plagued by Naxal activity, ranks second only to Noida in terms of investment interest set to materialize in upcoming groundbreaking ceremonies.
In February 2023, Sonbhadra received investment offers worth ?79,000 crore during a global investor summit, marking a significant achievement. This amount will translate into the realization of 43 projects, primarily in the energy and green energy sectors. The transformation of Sonbhadra into an attractive investment destination can be attributed to the efforts of the Yogi Adityanath government in establishing law and order and fostering a peaceful environment in the region.
While this figure is lower than the staggering ?1.96 lakh crore attracted by Noida, it surpasses the investments secured by the third, fourth, and fifth-ranked districts. Lucknow, the state capital, and Bareilly secured the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, with 327 projects worth ?34,000 crore slated for Lucknow and 357 projects worth ?31,700 crore planned for Bareilly.
Overall, Uttar Pradesh managed to attract investments totaling ?40 lakh crore. Industry experts have identified Sonbhadra as a dark horse in terms of translating investment proposals into concrete actions and business ventures.
Officials highlight that three projects in the energy and green energy sectors account for a significant portion of the investments in Sonbhadra. These include a 2X1600 megawatt super thermal power plant in Obra, another in Singrauli, and a 3660-megawatt off-stream close-loop pump storage project. Jhansi ranks third, with 173 projects worth ?63,000 crore expected to commence.
Regarding other Naxal-affected districts, an official spokesperson noted that projects worth ?17,400 crore will kick off in Chandauli, while projects worth ?6,000 crore are slated for Mirzapur. The Yogi Adityanath government’s efforts to establish the rule of law and maintain peace, both essential for corporate interests to thrive, have played a crucial role in this transformation.
Impact on MSMEs:
The economic development and investment influx in Sonbhadra may indirectly benefit MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in the region. MSMEs involved in construction, supply, and support services may experience increased business opportunities and growth due to the rise in large-scale infrastructure and industrial projects. Additionally, as the overall economic development of Sonbhadra improves, it could stimulate demand for local MSMEs, particularly those engaged in retail, hospitality, and logistics.
Notable People and Naxal-Affected Areas:
Several notable figures, such as social activists, police officials, and politicians, have worked tirelessly to combat Naxalism and its impact on affected regions. Some of these individuals include KPS Gill, who played a pivotal role in countering Naxalism in Punjab, and Chhattisgarh’s former Director General of Police, Vishwa Ranjan, who led significant anti-Naxal operations.
Naxalism has significantly affected areas across India, with states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh being severely impacted by Naxal activities. These regions have faced challenges related to security, economic development, and social cohesion.
Report by Abhishek Awasthi, Hindusthan Samachar
Credit: Hindusthan Samachar