New Delhi: A Parliamentary Committee has come out strongly in favour of India having three aircraft carriers to enhance combat capability of the Navy and accord topmost priority for creation of Non-lapsable Defence Modernization to eliminate any uncertainty in providing adequate funds for various defence capability development and infrastructure projects.
The report tabled by Jual Oram who heads the 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence which includes Congress MP Rahul Gandhi took account of the long coastline and hostile adversities on both sides of Indian peninsula and felt that “an aircraft carrier on both sides of coast is quintessential to uphold operational requirements. However, repair work of huge vessel such as an aircraft carrier takes considerably long time, therefore to bridge operational deficiencies thus arising, three aircraft carrier is an unavoidable requirement to meet any eventualities.”
It said it was “proud to learn that in line with the measures being taken to become self-reliant or ‘Aatmanirbhar’ in the defence sector, Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers (WAP) have been manufactured by the Ordnance Factories using technology provided by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).”
The Committee’s report tabled in Parliament said these amphibious Carriers having a powerful engine are also being manufactured by private industries in the country and orders have been placed with such industries.
The Committee was of the opinion that deployment of these Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers will add another lethal arsenal in reconnaissance and combat capabilities and therefore unequivocally recommend that requisite budgetary provisions should be made for procurement of these Carriers at the earliest.
The Committee, in their original Report, had recommended that a comprehensive study on requirement of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the Coastal areas of the country keeping in view current threat assessment and operational requirements of the Forces may be undertaken by Ministry of Defence in consultation with the Forces and BRO.
It recommended that, since BRO is currently engaged in development of strategic infrastructure along Northern Borders, feasibility of engaging other competent organization and authority, as a short-term measure, for development of critical infrastructure in coastal areas may be explored by the Ministry of Defence for strengthening maritime and coastal security.
The Committee found that out of the three Services, a notable mismatch, i.e. a shortfall of approximately 53 percent, between projected and allocated funds under Capital head exists in case of Navy. Therefore, they desire that a brief albeit comprehensive note on the measures being contemplated containing inter alia the measures to ensure that urgent critical projects and operational requirements of Navy are fulfilled, be submitted to the Committee within one month of presentation of this Report.