CHENNAI: Indian Navy will be decongesting its Eastern Naval headquarters base in Vishakapatnam by setting up alternate base in Chennai, according to Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command HCS Bisht.
Bisht says that Indian Navy is looking at land parcels in Chennai to set up a alternate hub of Eastern Naval Command. This comes as Indian Navy is primarily looking at a waterfront land where they plan to set up a jetty.
Sources indicated that Indian Navy was looking to set up base near East Coast Road.
It could possibly be in Muttukadu on East Coast Road or at Chennai port. It is learned that land parcel of 100 acres is being looked into and the progress is on in this regard. Once the base starts functioning from Chennai, then Indian Navy is likely to develop the port capabilities of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu to make it one of its forward operating bases.
“Since we are expanding, we are looking at Chennai as it has all the ingredients,” said Bisht. Interestingly, Indian Navy has also approached Kamarajar Port seeking land to set up their base near the port. Kamarajar Port had confirmed it but talks have not progressed further.
Bisht also said the matter over transfer of Vagli, the decommissioned submarine of Indian Navy, to the 30 acres of land abutting the beach near the UNESCO declared World Heritage site in Mahabalipuram has not died down. “There are certain issues and it is being dicussed. We just advise the state government on this issue,” he said.
The TN Tourism Development department has been struggling to get the submarine on to the beach site for setting the maritime heritage museum. After 36 glorious years of service, INS Vagli, which was decommissioned at Visakhapatnam in December 2010, is set to become an added tourist attraction in Mamallapuram. The government has sanctioned `10 crore towards the cost of transferring and installing the submarine from Visakhapatnam to Mamallapuram and installing it on the platform at selected site. But this never happened due to the various problems.