HUBBALLI: The Karnataka government’s State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) has approved two projects that would bring Rs 20,594 crore worth of investments to Hubballi-Dharwad. Elest Private Limited, incorporated in October 2020 with its registered office located on Brunton Road in Bengaluru, will set up an electric vehicle manufacturing unit on 85 acres of land in Hubballi-Dharwad with an investment of Rs 14,255 crore generating 867 jobs, Deccan Herald reported on Monday, December 20, 2020.The company’s second project would be a lithium-ion cells and battery manufacturing unit on 88 acres of land in Hubballi-Dharwad worth Rs Rs 6,339 crore, employing 1,804 people, the report stated. Elest Private Ltd has Bengaluru-based billionaire Rajesh Jaswanth Rai Mehta and Prashanth Mehta (of Rajesh Exports) as its directors.
The projects were announced during the Invest Karnataka-Hubballi meet held in February 2020. At the time, Rajesh Exports had announced investing a whopping Rs 50,000 crore for making electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries for domestic and overseas markets. The government had stated that the company’s investments would employ nearly 10,000 people. It’s apparent that the investments cleared by the SHLCC on Monday are far lower than the Rs 50,000-crore figure declared during the investors’ meet. Further, the promised number of jobs is just 2,671. While it’s not clear why the investments were reduced so drastically, the Covid-19 pandemic might have played a role. Nonetheless, the investments cleared on Monday are good news for Hubballi-Dharwad and will help attract many more industries to the twin cities.