Navy to set up new base in Lakshadweep

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

The Indian Navy, which is gradually building up capabilities across the island territories to meet the new world order, is all set to open its full-fledged shore unit at the Lakshadweep islands. The new operations base, INS Dweeprakshak, in Kavaratti island would be launched by the end of this month.

INS Dweeprakshak which would be under the Southern Naval Command (SNC) in Kochi, would be the second operations base of the Indian Navy in an island territory, after the one based in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

“Indian Navy took the decision to boost its coastal security initiatives after 26/11. Increased incidents of piracy in the Lakshadweep waters is another reason for setting up the base”, said the officials.

The new base is expected to be inaugurated on April 30. Presently the Navy has two detachments at Lakshadweep in Kavaratti and Minicoy islands under a Naval officer-in-charge of islands. The decision to have a full-fledged shore unit on the islands was taken more than a year ago, after increased presence of pirates was reported from this region.

Once fully operational, INS Dweeprakshak will have new aircraft, warships and helicopters operating from there along with other operational capabilities. Last year, Indian forces had thwarted a couple of pirate attacks near the Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands.

“It would be an independent establishment under the SNC. That will help in taking decisions on financial matters and administrative decisions,” sources said.

It’s pointed out that the new operations base would be effective in preventing intrusions to India’s Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) and secure country’s territorial waters. The island chain’s proximity with neighbouring nations like Maldives adds to the need for better sprucing up of security.

As part of its efforts to spruce up coastal security initiatives, the Indian Coast Guard had set up a new District Headquarters at Laksahdweep islands. It was only a week back that the Coast Guard had established one more station at Androth island.

Two days back the Southern Naval Command in association with Coast Guard District Headquarters No 12 at Kavarathi, organised the coastal security exercise ‘Neptune-05’ for the islands.

The Defence Minister had recently pointed out the need for securing the country’s island territories. The Centre has made special allocation for improving island security. The Ministry of Defence(MoD) is also setting up a chain of radar stations across the coastal boundaries of India for better surveillance. Lakshadweep islands will have four radar stations.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Apr 21 2012. Filed under All News, Navy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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