‘Sardar Patel’, the latest Naval establishment of Indian Navy, was commissioned at Porbandar, Gujarat by Anandiben Patel, the Chief Minister of Gujarat today.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding–in–Chief, Western Naval Command, senior naval officers and other dignitaries of the state government.
- As a part of the ceremony, the Chief Minister named the establishment INS Sardar Patel , after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India.
- Also unveiled the commissioning plaque as well as a marble bust of the “Ironman of India”.
- The economic importance of this frontal maritime state, in the overall national security dynamics, is the core factor governing sustenance and operation of naval assets from the Forward Operating Naval base at Porbandar.
- First Commanding Officer of INS Sardar Patel : Cmde BR Prakash
- He is the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Gujarat, Diu & Daman)
Strategic Importance of the Naval Base :
- Promoting the augmentation the coastal surveillance and maritime security infrastructure in the strategically important coastal states and islands.
- It would improve coordination and synergy with other maritime agencies.
- Would enable the Navy to augment its organisational effectiveness in Gujarat.
- Would also enhance the logistic support being provided to the Indian Navy units deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea, including along the International Maritime Boundary Line with Pakistan.
- To ensure the security of maritime traffic plying through the Deep water Channel (DWC), off Okha, and Gulf of Kutch against threats from enemy submarines
Gujarat coast is key to naval operations :
- Gujarat has the longest coastline of 880 NM
- Gujarat has a coastline interspersed with 43 ports. Of these, besides Kandla being a major port, 11 are intermediate and 31 are minor ports
- Sharing 532 km of land border with Pakistan.
- Gujarat’s ports collectively handle about 300 million tons of cargo annually.
- This is about 30% of the total cargo handled in the ports of India.
- In the Gulf of Kutch there are 12 single point moorings (SPMs) through which about 120 million tons of crude oil is supplied to various refineries on the coast and in the hinterland. This constitutes 71% of the oil import into the country
- The events of 26/11 have added a new dimension to the coastal security construct, which has enhanced responsibility, and need for continued naval presence in this area.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel :
- The first Deputy PM and Home Minister of India
- Sardar Patel popularly known as the Ironman of India, was a towering personality from Gujarat
- One of the founding Fathers of the Republic of India.
- He was responsible for forging a united India from the British colonial provinces allocated to India and more than five hundred self-governing princely states, released from British suzerainty.