Ahmedabad, Apr 29: In view of increased threat along maritime border with Pakistan, Navy will commission a new base near Porbandar in Gujarat to strengthen surveillance and security apparatus in the region.
The new base will be named INS Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. [Intelligence agencies warn Mumbai Police of another 26/11 like attack]
This would be the second base on the Gujarat coast and will be commissioned by state Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on May 9 at Porbandar.
"This is a crucial strategic position as far as Navy is concerned because this coastal area is close to our western neighbours. Our ships can be mobilised at any time or warships can be organised," PRO, Western Naval Command, Commander Rahul Sinha told.
"Any Naval base provides administrative support like loading of ships or for operational purpose during warfare or for turning around war-ships," he said, when asked as to how the new base will help the country. [26/11: What David Headley will never tell us]
This will be second base in Gujarat besides INS Dwarka at Okha in Dwarka district.
"Despite having a base in Okha, there was still a need of expanding surveillance in the western coastal area. The coastal security (in the area) has been a concern for past couple of years. A need was felt to strengthen our infrastructure. Hence, we are going to commission INS Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel," said Sinha.
On christening the base after India's first Home Minister, Sinha said it has been decided by a board of an internal committee of Indian Navy.
Surveillance activity on the maritime boundary with Pakistan has been a concern in the aftermath of the 26/11 attack on Mumbai where a Gujarat fishing boat was apprehended by terrorists and used to sail to the island city.
On December 31, a suspected Pakistani fishing boat carrying explosives was intercepted by the Coast Guards in the Arabian Sea.
Recently, Navy in a joint operation with Coast Guards had apprehended a suspicious boat carrying around 232 packets of narcotics, suspected to be Heroin worth Rs 600 crore, and arrested eight Pakistani nationals.