CM Anandiben Patel Saturday commissioned the new Naval base — INS Sardar Patel — named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Porbandar. Patel praised PM Narendra Modi for “giving more thrust” on issues related to coastal security. Addressing the senior officers of the Navy and the Coast Guard, Patel said, “It is a matter of pride for Gujarat that the Naval base has been named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace in Porbandar.” Patel unveiled the plaque and read the commissioning warrant of the new base, second in the state, after INS Dwarka near Okha.
Patel said, “The state is progressing well in various sectors and bringing in foreign investments by holding Vibrant Gujarat Summits. All this could happen only because the state’s borders and coasts are protected well. Gujarat’s long coastline is important from a strategic point of view. The Navy plays a key role in protecting the 1,600 kilometre-long coastline of Gujarat.” She urged the need for coastal security agencies to be alert round the clock while referring to the “recent interception of a suspicious boat containing narcotics worth Rs 600 crore” by the Navy and Coast Guard.
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She said, “In the past, the Congress didn’t pay attention to the serious needs of coastal security in Gujarat and took no initiative for modernising the armed forces. This resulted in increase of terrorism, smuggling and illegal activities along Gujarat coasts. However, after Narendrabhai Modi took over as PM, the issues of coastal security and development of coastal towns were given more importance.”
Patel said, “The state government developed seven marine checkposts to ensure the cargo and trading activities in Gujarat are carried out peacefully.”