New Delhi, Dec 22 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony on Wednesday said the government is making all out efforts in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack to ensure security of the coastal regions of the country.
Addressing the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry here, Antony said: "There has been a sea-change in the government's approach to coastal security after this tragic incident. The government is giving top priority to modernization of shipyards so that state-of-the -art warships can be built indigenously to global standards in the most transparent manner."
"In future, all vessels of the Indian Navy will be built indigenously and the private sector will play a crucial role in this endeavour," he added.
Antony further said that in order to be comparable with the best global shipyards, a high premium on the quality of the delivered products must be maintained.
"Our market share in global ship building must be improved substantially on a priority basis. Our shipyards have no option, but to build state of the art infrastructure for constructing high technology warships and submarines," he said.
Further giving details of the modernization plans currently being carried out in Mazagon Dock Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited and Goa Shipyard Limited, Antony said: "These include human resource development, important components for upgradation and diversification of ship building infrastructure and implementing state of the art management tools and techniques."
"Recently, Hindustan Shipyard Limited has been transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the Department Defence Production and a modernization programme for HSL will be finalized soon. The first phase of the modernization plan will be completed by the first half of 2011," he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Antony said in the recent years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been able to ensure improved results in the delivery of warships and submarines.
"During 2009-2010, these numbers stood at 120 vessels for the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and coastal states. In the current financial year, 85 vessels have already been delivered and by March 2011, a total of 127 vessels will be delivered," he added.
Cutting across party lines, the Members of Parliament appreciated the role of MoD in galvanizing the modernization process.
The Members of Parliament, who attended today's meeting, included HK Dua, Navin Jindal, Manish Tiwari, Piyus Goyal, Gajanan Dharmshi Babar, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Sudip Bandyopadhyaya, NSV Chitthan, Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, Gopal Singh Shekhawat and Ramachandra Khuntia.
Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju, Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Secretary Defence Production RK Singh, Scietific Adviser to Defence Minister Dr VK Saraswat, senior officials of the MoD and the Defence Shipyards also attended today's meeting.
The Members of Parliament and the officials greeted the announcement of Antony about the success of DRDO in testing two Prithvi missiles within an hour's gap earlier in the day. (ANI)
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