Karwar: The Defence Minisiter Rajnath Singh on an inspection of the Indian Naval base ‘Project Seabird’ here today, said that on completion the naval base would be the largest one in Asia.
The Defence Minister visited the Karwar Naval Base to review the progress of ongoing infrastructure development under ‘Project Seabird’.
Rajnath Singh, along with Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh, first took an aerial survey of the Project Area before inspecting ongoing works at various sites in the Naval Base, receiving briefings and demonstrations of the Shiplift Tower in the base.
Proejct Seabird is former Prime Misniter Indira Gandhi’s pet project and has been constructed in what is considered the best natural harbor in the country.
For the project the Navy also acquired the Anjedeep and Aryadeep islands off the coast of Karwar for strategic reasons.
Addressing naval officers, contractors and other workers connected to the project, Rajnath Singh hoped that on its completion the base would compete with the best and become Asia’s largest Naval base, bigger than even Chinese Naval bases. This he said would enhance military strength and enormously bolster the defence infrastructure of the country.
Commending the deference forces of the country for protecting the nations territories , Singh said that the Indian Navy had successful protected India’s coastline of 7,500 kms, its 1,300 islands and 2.5 million square kilometers of special economic zones.
He also said that India is strengthening the navals security in the region by working with its neighbors through ‘SAGAR’ (Security & Growth for All in Region)
Talking about modernization of the defence forces, Singh said that over two-thirds of the Navy’s budget earmakerked for modernization has been spent on local procurement to boost self reliance. This includes 46 ships and submarines of the Navy.
Though the Navy’s primary purpose is to secure India’s maritime borders, it is often also involved in humanitarian efforts including rescue and relief. It played a significant role in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic by ferrying critical equipment including the much needed oxygen cylinders, while also helping other countries in such efforts, he said.