A strategically important new base of the Indian Navy — INS Sardar Patel — was commissioned Saturday in Porbandar. The base was commissioned by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, who used the occasion to attack the Congress, accusing it of ignoring security along the state’s coastline when it was in power at the Centre.
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This is the second base of the Indian Navy in Gujarat; the first one is INS Dwarka near Okha.
Speaking at the event, Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan said the new base will help Gujarat strengthen security along its 1600-km-long coastline. “Gujarat is a thriving maritime state, which has a 1,600 km coastline. The state has 43 private and public ports, making up nearly 50 per cent of the country’s maritime industry,” said Dhowan.
Noting that Gujarat’s long coastline was strategically important, the CM said, “In the past, the Congress didn’t pay attention to the needs of coastal security in Gujarat and took no initiative to modernise the armed forces. This resulted in an increase in cases of terrorism, smuggling and illegal activities,” she said.