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India developing Karwar as 3rd major naval base on west coast

NEW DELHI (PTI): India is moving fast to set-up its third major naval base after Mumbai and Cochin on the western coast at Karwar in Karnataka.

Defence Minister A K Antony will inaugurate an integrated defence-civilian township at Karwar on May 21 with 326 dwelling units under "Project Seabird", also known as Karwar Project.

"The township will accommodate defence and civilian employees posted at Karwar. It is part of the Project Seabird which was aimed to transform Karwar into a state-of-art major naval base on western coast with docking facilities for an aircraft carrier-size vessel," Navy officials said.

Completed at a cost of Rs 2400 crore approximately, the phase one of the project has seen commissioning of base ship INS Kadamba in 2005 and a ship-lift facility in 2006 along with a hospital and the township which would be inaugurated on Saturday.

"Presently, 10 different ships of various class and size are based at Karwar, biggest of them being a tanker-vessel," the officials added.

The foundation stone for Project Seabird was laid down by the then Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi in 1986, but the plan went through massive delays because of financial crunch.

The Defence Minister will also inaugurate a ship-lift facility for constructing naval vessels at Goa Shipyard Limited. He would be accompanied by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and other senior officers of Western Naval Command.


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