Navy chief assures strict safety audits in wake of submarine accidents

Kochi (Kerala), May 7: Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Robin K. Dhowan said in Kochi on Wednesday that a probe is underway to ascertain what caused a series of submarine accidents, and added that stringent safety audits are being instituted in their wake.

Admiral Dhowan was undertaking his first visit to the Southern Naval Command headquarters in Kochi after formally assuming charge of the service.

He reviewed a ceremonial parade and addressed naval personnel.

Admiral Dhowan said: “These accidents which have happened, have been taken serious note of. As you are aware the inquiry is underway. Whatever have been the recommendations in terms of instituting very serious stringent safety audits, ensuring that the aspects of standing operative procedures are not bypassed and to carry out a safety check on every single platform of Indian Navy, has already been instituted.”

Admiral Dhowan took charge as the new navy chief two months after the resignation of his predecessor Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi. Admiral Joshi resigned in February owning moral responsibility for a series of naval accidents.

Most of the country’s fleet of more than a dozen submarines are in urgent need of modernisation. Efforts to build a domestic arms industry have made slow progress, despite India still being the world’s largest weapons importer.

Admiral Dhowan said there is a serious need to build a strong naval force, as several countries have vested interests in the ports and other areas of the Indian Ocean.

“The focus of the world is on the Indian Ocean region. And this is also an area of primary interest both from the operational angle as well as the professional angle for the Indian Navy. To meet the maritime challenges in the Indian Ocean region and in the maritime domain, and to safeguard our maritime interest, we need the Indian navy to be a strong, multi-talented force,” Admiral Dhowan said. (ANI)