Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the naval base being developed here under “Project Seabird” should be Asia’s biggest, and he would try to get budget allocation enhanced for it, if required.
He also said India should aim to be among one of the top three naval powers in the world in the next 10-12 years time. “I had a curiosity before visiting Project Seabird to see and understand it…I’m happy seeing Karwar closely and can say that my confidence level has increased towards this naval base,” Singh said.
Addressing the Indian Navy officers and sailors, he said, with the completion of the project, not only India’s defence preparedness will be strengthened, but also the country’s trade, economy and the humanitarian assistance that it provides will also get more strength.
“It is said that this will become India’s largest naval base, but I have said not only India’s, our wish is that this should become Asia’s biggest naval base, and I will try to get budget allocation increased if required for this,” he added.
Singh, accompanied by Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh, undertook an aerial survey of project area and sites, prior to arriving at INS Kadamba Helipad here.
Stating that during the aerial survey of the project, he could see its future, the Defence Minister said, the future of this naval base is “very bright” and the credit for this has to go to the officers and sailors.
“I have also seen the country’s first sealift facility, which will improve our maintenance compared to earlier…so I say this naval base is different from the rest,” he said.
Noting that India’s strength is growing, Singh said, “..India is now among the five major naval powers in the world, we should aim to be among the top three in the next ten to twelve years.”