Karwar (Karnataka) [India], June 24 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who was in Karnataka's Karwar on Thursday to review the work at the Indian Navy's Project Seabird, said that he wants the Karwar Naval base to be Asia's biggest Naval base for which he will also raise the budget.
"I want it (Karwar Naval base) to be Asia's biggest Naval base. I will even try to raise the budget for it as well," said the Defence Minister while addressing a press conference here today.
He further said, "I was always curious to see and understand Project Seabird because once I had stayed for a night on INS Vikramaditya and when I and Admiral Karambir Singh were returning on the helicopter, he showed me from the sky, that this is Karwar. That day I had seen Karwar from the skies, but today I felt very happy to be able to see it from so near. I can say that my confidence towards this naval base has increased."
"I believe that after the completion of this project, whatever security-related preparations we have been doing, it will not only strengthen that but also facilitate trade, economy and the humanitarian aid we provide," added the Defence Minister.
Earlier in the day, the Defence Minister conducted an aerial survey of the country's largest naval infrastructure project -- Project Seabird at Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka. He was accompanied by Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh.
Singh also visited the Indian Navy's Shiplift Control Tower and Pier 2 at Karwar.
The first phase of construction of the base, code-named Project Seabird, was completed in 2005. Development of Phase II commenced in 2011. INS Kadamba is currently the third-largest Indian naval base, and is expected to become the largest naval base in the eastern hemisphere after completion of expansion Phase II.
On August 1, 2002, the Government of India had accorded its approval in 1995 for the execution of the first phase of the Project Seabird at a revised completion cost of Rs. 1294.41 crore.
The project would enable 10 ships and 10-yard crafts for refit and maintenance. (ANI)