Navy may have itself to blame for series of recent accidents

  • Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 02, 2014 01:27 IST

The navy’s failure to keep its main harbour channel navigable in Mumbai may have risked operations and may also led to some of the recent accidents, a top official has told HT.

An unreasonable delay in awarding a crucial dredging contract to keep the approach to the naval base clear and allow access to warships has raised serious concerns about safe and efficient passage of boats in the shallow waters.

A safe under-keel clearance margin required to steer warships to the harbour may not be available if the seabed is not excavated periodically, raising the chances of vessels running aground. At least two warships, including a submarine, have run aground in recent weeks while returning to the harbour. Under-keel clearance is the vertical distance between the lowest part of the ship’s hull and the seabed.

Full-scale dredging operations in the navigation channel serving the naval dockyard began on December 12, 2013, at least three years behind schedule. Former navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash said the harbour should be dredged at least once a year. Navy officials blamed bureaucrats for delaying financial clearances and stalling the Rs80 crore project to ensure continuous availability of desired depths in the channel.

“Realising the gravity of the situation, the western naval command had to overrule its financial advisors. Dredging is vital to ensure a warship’s keel is kept clear of the seabed," the top official said.

The commanding officer of INS Betwa was stripped of his position after his guided missile frigate ran aground on January 4. Barely two weeks later, INS Sindhughosh hit the seabed; prompting the navy to order a probe.

Sources said that while delay in carrying out dredging may have been a factor, the captains of the warships could not be absolved of their responsibility for safe navigation.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

INS Sindhuratna mishap: Navy chief resigns as 2 go missing, 7 injured
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome