The Indian Navy is looking at Chennai as a possible alternative hub in order to decongest the Naval Base in Visakhapatnam. The headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam is reportedly in dire need of decongestion keeping in mind the ever expanding Navy.
Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command told The Hindu, “As of now, Visakhapatnam is the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. Because the Navy is expanding at a significant rate, we also need to look at alternative bases to operate from and we are looking at Chennai, since Chennai offers all the ingredients and parameters required for a Naval base.”
Progress has also been reportedly made in Chennai with acquisition of land for the alternate hub. The Indian Navy is looking at potential lands for the set-up of base and a waterfront land for a jetty. Reportedly, the Indian Navy is looking to set up its base near East Coast Road. 100 acres of land is being looked into at the location for the same. And once the base in Chennai reaches functionality, the Indian Navy is likely to look into the port capabilities of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu to turn it into one of their operating bases.
When Vice Admiral HCS Bisht was asked about the alleged continuous attack on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, he stated that both the countries were involved in various levels of diplomatic dialogue and that the issue was an ongoing one.