Defence Minister to Inaugurate Infrastructure Facilities of Project Seabird

Indian Navy

Rajnath Singh5

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate two major piers and seven residential towers comprising 320 houses for Naval Officers and Defence civilian personnel and 149 single officers’ accommodation in Naval Base Karwar on March 5, 2024.

Phase I of Project Seabird was designed to accommodate 10 ships and was successfully concluded in 2011. The infrastructure comprised a breakwater, a pier capable of berthing 10 ships, a 10,000-ton ship lift and dry berth, a Naval Ship Repair Yard, logistics and armament storage facilities, accommodation for 1000 personnel, a Headquarters/Depot Organisation, and a 141-bed Naval Hospital.

The CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) approval for Phase IIA of the Project was accorded the berthing of 32 ships and submarines, along with 23 Yardcraft. The Phase IIA initiatives are also directed towards constructing buildings and structures that adhere to the current guidelines set by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEF) and the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The Phase IIA marine works include piers designed to accommodate ships/ submarines, providing a berthing space of more than 6 kilometre, technical facilities, electrical substations, switch gears, and support utilities.

The centre-piece of Phase IIA works is an iconic Covered Dry Berth, standing at a height of 75 metres, taller than the Qutub Minar in Delhi, and spread over 33000 m2 land area. This dry berth is designed to facilitate simultaneous docking and comprehensive enclosed maintenance of up to four capital ships.

In Phase-IIA, four different townships encompassing residential accommodations, with about 10,000 dwelling units of all types for Officers, Senior and Junior Sailors and Defence Civilian staff is being constructed. The setting up of green field dual-use Naval Air Station with 2700m runway and civil-enclave will provide air support to the aircraft embarked upon various IN ships and facilitate operations of commercial aviation flights.

The ongoing construction activities at Naval Base Karwar have directly generated employment opportunities for approximately 7,000 personnel and indirectly led to around 20,000 jobs across the nation. The infrastructure development has been aligned with the principles of _Aatmanirbhar Bharat_ with more than 90% of the materials and equipment being sourced from within the country.

The project’s execution involves renowned Indian industry infrastructure leaders such as AECOM India Ltd., Larsen & Toubro, ITD Cementation India Ltd, Nagarjuna Construction Company, Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd., and Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Once fully operational, with an estimated 50,000 individuals residing in the Naval Facilities spread over the 25-kilometre expanse, a substantial contribution to the local economy is foreseen.

The establishment of the Naval Dockyard and the maintenance needs of ships will act as catalysts for the industrial growth of the region. This development is also expected to attract significant investments to the Uttara Kannada region, along with the necessary infrastructure, and create employment opportunities for the local community.

The Naval Air Station, along with the Civil Enclave, is poised to improve air connectivity to Uttar Karnataka region and boost the tourism industry in both North Karnataka and South Goa. Upon full operationalisation, the base is projected to provide government employment to around 8,000 personnel.