KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the theft of hard disks from the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant being built at Cochin Shipyard here has failed to make any progress, a month on.
The agency, said sources in the shipyard, is trying to locate the temporary workers who were employed at the shipyard and quit after the theft. They said over 1 lakh labourers supplied by various contract agencies had worked in the shipyard in the past one year and around 30-40 new labourers have been joining every month.
“Not many labourers work at the shipyard for long. Some leave midway forcing contractors to bring new workers every month,” said a source. Though the NIA is analysing finger and palm prints of everyone who had been at the shipyard in the past year, it has not yielded any result.
“NIA has its work cut out, considering the large number of casual labourers who have been at the shipyard for various works during the period,” said an officer.
The NIA took over the probe into the theft from the state police considering national security and the espionage angle. The stolen hard drives contained data on Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) for the vessel which was developed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) with Italy-based GE-Avio.
The IPMS was exclusively designed, manufactured and tested at BHEL Bengaluru, with GE-Avio. It was equipped with state-of-the-art automatic power management system which the company started integrating into the vessel after conducting a final integrated factory acceptance test protocol in the presence of experts of the Navy and the shipyard.
IPMS is used on-board ships and submarines for real-time monitoring and control of the vessel’s hull, mechanical, electrical and damage control machinery and systems.