Indian Navy to push for new Naval Base in Chennai

The Indian Navy is in an advanced stage of consultation with the State government and Central agencies regarding the expansion of the Naval footprint in Tamil Nadu by building a naval base in Chennai, according to Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar, Flag Officer, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Speaking to reporters at INS Sumitra, Bhatnagar said the Navy was hopeful of getting complete support from the State government in allotting the much required land for infrastructure augmentation.

“We aim to make an important naval base in Chennai by creating the required infrastructure. This, in turn, will contribute to the economy of Chennai and Tamil Nadu in the long run,” he said.

This comes as the Indian Navy is planning to decongest its eastern naval headquarters base in Visakhapatnam by setting up an alternative base in Chennai. Sources indicated that the Navy is looking at a waterfront land where they plan to set up a jetty.

It is learnt that a 100-acre land is being looked for and once the base starts functioning in Chennai, then the Indian Navy is likely to develop port capabilities of Thoothukudi to make it one of its forward operating bases.

Bhatnagar said the Navy Day, which falls on December 4 to commemorate its glorious victory achieved 46 years ago in the 1971 Indo-Pak War and to salute the valiant heroes, is more special this year as it marks the golden jubilee of the Eastern Naval Command and the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm.

The Navy, in close consultation with the State government, Coast Guard, Coastal Security Group, CISF, Fisheries, Ports, Customs, Animal Husbandry and Intelligence Bureau is taking several initiatives to strengthen coastal security in Tamil Nadu.

Towards this end, a high-level apex committee meeting to review the coastal security of TN, co-chaired by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Easter Naval Command and the Chief Secretary to the Tamil Nadu government, will be held in January, 2018.

Similarly, an international maritime boundary line meeting between the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, on the one side, and the Sri Lankan Navy and its Coast Guard, on the other, is scheduled for January.

By: New Indian Express

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