This is an IDF Report on the Director General Naval Projects (DGNP), Visakhapatnam, an organization (like DGNP (B)) that undertakes creation and augmentation of Navy’s infrastructure. An experienced Engineer Adm in always the DG currently Vice Admiral DM Deshpande. The DDGs are from Navy and Army Engineers and a huge Corps of Sappers, aided by a huge staff from MES (maximum rank of GE) and naval engineering officers and staff supported by the Eastern Naval Command, and many civilians and a senior IFA. DGNP ((V) celebrated its Golden jubilee with pomp and proifessionalism. One saw JOINTNESS with the large inter service set up and mused why this way of working cannot be replicated in many Service INSTITUTIONS and bases ??
On 11th May, while flying at 700 feet towards Vishakapatnam in Air Asia’s 737 glide path over the outer harbor, India’s largest bulk port which handles India’s rising millions of tons of cargo, nostalgically the sprawling Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) loomed next to the Naval Dockyard and finger jetties that one berthed on in the 1970s, and suddenly the impressive Nuclear submarine Ship Building Centre (SBC), nuclear submarine berths and buildings came into view. SBC is ‘Classified Secret’ instead of ‘Restricted’. Hundreds of workers, welders, foreigners, BARC and contractors construct to commission India’s four submarines like Arihant and Aridhaman with L&T in a PPP in what look like the leased shed visible from, one had heard of at conferences.
SBC ably supports Chakra’s crew and trains India’s professional breed of nuclear submariners/engineers. It was a revelation of how far the Indian Navy has come despite non governance of our Defence planning in mod with scams, no CDS Or a Maritime Administration Authority (MDA) or a DPP-16 promised in the NDA 2014 manifesto. Chalta Hai as Jug Suryiaya says.
India is a lucky nation with 600 mill Intelligent consuming men and women struggling & working hard, with money of all colours in pockets and NPAs and huge Government debts in and Panamas that keeps our economy growing at 7.5 %, not the Government policies per se for employment. Private industry cries. Even the chaiwalas IDF interrogated in big and small towns sell 100 to 700 cups of tea a day on the roadside or Railway stations. At Rs 7 to 10 per cup earn Rs 700 to 2000 a day to spare some to keep Cops happy too ! In Pulitzer winning White Tiger Aravind Adiga showed how the talented tea stall worker became a driver and then a soft ware richie in Bangalore. That’s new India ! you have to know the beasts of bureaucracy and help your self and the Navy has done it !
IDF recalls a former Army Chief apologized to MP George Fernandes when he said Army needs a say in governance and became a Governor, while a Naval Chief went to PM IK Gujral and got Rs 1 sanction for Type 17 ships over MOD. It angered bureaucrats. Type 17’s are Navy’s life line, and when CNS Bhagwat asked Dr APJ Kalam a friend who shared dosas, about Project ATV, BJP told Kalam he keep clear as he was Presidential material and RM Fernandes unceremoniously sacked CNS on the 1923 Official Security Act and draconian art 311. Other brass accepted the state to become Governors or Ambassadors. Today a fine fighter pilot, ex Air Chief is being seen frisked by Constables in the glare of hungry TV cameras and not called quietly to depose by DOE. Other Chiefs must proffer advise to India’s de-facto C-in-C the PM or his powerful NSA to give India’s uniform some dignity it deserves.
Hence IDF salutes Defence personnel and retired who have been slowly degraded in to to Jantar Mantar but the soldier, sailor and airman loves Bharat Mata and Vizag showed this. After cyclone Hudud DGNP, Port and Navy and Chandrababa Naidu re-vitalised Vizag, seen world over through Navy’s IFR at Vizag. Indian governments are lucky not to have militaries like in Pakistan, Myanmar, indonesia or Middle East and tolerance level of our military brass to be subjugated as Indians’ trait is note worthy. Hinduism and fatalistic thinking ? A Hindu they say can be bought, a Muslim rented only.
On 11th May driving through the airbase, INS Dega IDF recalled the 1970s when as a LO for the second time to the legendary Admiral Sergie Gorshkov one alighted from the slow moving IAF VIP HS -748 (compared to his IL-83) at the small transformed by the Navy Vishakapatnam airport that now flies 15 civil flights and 17 Hawks-142 to enable transition of naval pilots to MiG-29Ks (KORABAL –ship) after a whole laterite hill was cut after it killed a full Naval Donier 228 crew. Vizag is now Navy’s biggest naval base.
In 1970s Gorshkov was housed in the Kremlin Hostel and now its called Vishaka. Gorshkov over saw the amazing building of the massive largest Naval Dockyard in Asia, The finger jetties were built in 4 years for the largest dockyard in Asia. Today as an Act East asset it is congested and has a busy narrow channel. Gorshkov and Adm Daya Shankar had suggested a Greenfield deeper port at Bhimlipatam a little North but India was poor ! Now Navy is looking South to Varsha base it needs badly which DGNP (V) is building.
Mahendra Ved wrote “Gorshkov is regarded, (as) the the surrogate father of the Indian Navy .. and took personal interest in the building of the sprawling Vishakapatnam Dockyard and introduced the Navy to nuclear propulsion with Chakra-1”. And IDF wrote the DSSC docket on Gorkshov’s sea power strategy, naval officers study, though turning to Mahan.
It was nostalgia to be invited by DGNP to write a paper on the Future Navy and listen to a full day of young technical Naval and civil experts praise the Indian Navy and what it has achieved in construction of bases and ship building at Vizag, and elsewhere and remarkably build a nuclear submarine, refited submarines like INS Sindhukruti completing a year and keep Kilos class going after 25 years and now busy building Varsha base 90 km South. .
To add the Navy has planned well and has 50 warships on order in Indian yards, long before PM Modi’s Make In India call, and HSL at Vizag looks to build four 25,009 tons support tankers like Deepak/ Shakti from Korea’s Hyundai that Arnab Goswami has made famous on TIMES NOW when the rat has fled in the Fincantieri tanker steel scam. IDF will follow which steel is ordered for tankers DMR 249A or other and the event is tube linked at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/154b08d8eb6f422e?projector=1.
Soviets wanted to base warships in the Cold War at Vizag as they had subsidized the dockyard but Mrs Indira Gandhi, told Soviets you cannot base ships but ‘call any time in emergency’, including your Intelligence EW trawlers crowding the IOR . So it was a pleasure to be invited to write a paper for DGNP (V) Golden Jubilee seminar with the central theme “Modern trends in marine ship building infrastructure: challenges and opportunities” to earn a seat on 12th May.
As a part of the Jubilee, a very professional technology exhibition by companies associated with no holds imposed by the Draconian and Antiquated Officials Secrets Act 1923 was set up at the Samudrika auditorium with an array of supplies that support the Navy ships, Scorpene and India’s three expensive nuclear submarines ATV/Akanksha project which cost more than Rs 8000 cr including sunken costs. DGNP (V) has many naval projects besides 90 km South of Vizag called Varsha which will cost a lot too.
The FOC-in-C Eastern Naval Command VADM HCS Bisht inaugurated the hall full of all stake-holders, academia and leading industry professionals from across the nation and spoke of the Navy plans and for Vizag and how DGNP is expected to give boost and technical knowledge and support for marine infrastructure by focusing on optimum utilisation of resources to meet various naval operational and administrative tasks on the Eastern Seaboard in India’s Look and Act East. To succeed in this endeavor IDF feels much has to be tri service now and Centre needs to open the closed, even to Indians Andaman and Nicobar subsidised islands that are India’s Gold Mines and security barriers, being missed ostrich like.
DGNP Vice-Admiral D.M. Deshpande, unveiled how the organisation was handling major state-of-the-art projects such as double decker jetties like at Karwar , marine infrastructure upgradation, ship-lifts, bridges and also enhancing the existing support facilities at the various bases and industrial establishments. Experts from the Indian Institute of Technology, Andhra University, eminent academicians, industry and a host of other organizations and six ex DGNP’s including Admiral Parillikar who was DGNP Mumbai and Vizag and also CMD GRSE spoke from his heart in the key note address. A learning treat it was, topped by a celebratory dinner on Dolphin Hill which was said to be a rehersal for CNS Adm RK Dhowan who demits office after setting a high bar, and another fine navigator Adm Sunil Lanba takes the telescope and will look ahead. Shan No Varuna.