KOCHI, SEPT 02
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said INS Vikrant is an example of Indian government’s thrust to making its defence sector self-reliant and has made the country part of the select group of nations who can indigenously make aircraft carriers.
Modi also unveiled the Indian Navy’s new ensign which drops the St George’s Cross and incorporates the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Addressing a large gathering at the commissioning ceremony of INS Vikrant, Modi said with the new ensign, the country has shed its colonial past.
Till today Indian Naval flags carried a sign of slavery which has been replaced with a new one inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, he said.
Modi also spoke about certain features of the aircraft carrier — which he described as a floating airfield, a floating town — and said that power generated in it can light up 5,000 houses.
“INS Vikrant is not a mere war machine but proof of India’s skill and talent. It is special, different,” Modi said and highlighted the indigenisation efforts behind the massive ship, including the steel that went into its making.
With the commissioning of Vikrant, India joined a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Kerala Governor Arif Mohamad Khan, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and top officials of Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the induction of INS Vikrant, named after its predecessor that played a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, into the Navy.
The carrier is equipped with state-of-the-art features.
Prime Minister said that port capacity in the country has doubled in the last eight years and stressed that infrastructure growth is key for development of a modern India.
Speaking at the launch of various development initiatives at a public meeting here, he said for a developed India, the manufacturing sector and ‘Make in India’ need to be expanded.
Modi spoke about the government’s focus on infrastructure development.
The PM also said he is happy that the “double engine” government in Karnataka is working to fulfill the needs and aspirations of the people at a fast pace.
At the event, the Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation for mechanisation and industrialisation projects worth around Rs 3,800 crore through a ‘remote control’.
These included a project worth over Rs 280 crore for mechanisation of Berth No. 14 for handling containers and other cargo undertaken by the New Mangalore Port Authority.
He also laid the foundation of five projects worth around Rs 1,000 crore undertaken by the port.
The Prime Minister inaugurated two projects undertaken by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited — BS VI Upgradation Project and Sea Water Desalination Plant — worth Rs 1,830 crore and Rs 680 crore respectively.
The sea water desalination plant will help reduce dependency on fresh water and ensure regular supply of hydrocarbons and petrochemicals throughout the year, according to an official statement.
Having a capacity of 30 million litres per day (MLD), the plant converts seawater into water required for the refinery processes, the statement said.