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Friday, November 16, 2018

Indian Navy completes refit of Maldivian Coast Guard Ship Huravee

Maldivian Coast Guard Ship (MCGS) Huravee successfully completed her refit at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam and the ship was formally handed over to Major Mohamed Jamshad, Commanding Officer MCGS Huravee in a ceremony organised to commemorate the occasion on 15 November 2018. The chief guest for the function, Rear Admiral Amit Bose, Admiral Superintendent Naval Dockyard thereafter addressed the gathering wherein he ensured continued support of the Indian Navy to the Maldivian Coast Guard. The Commanding Officer also took this opportunity to thank the Indian Navy for the successful completion of the refit. The event concluded by customary crest exchange between the ship and the chief guest. The four-month long refit to MCGS Huravee is an initiative by the Indian Navy undertaken in furtherance of the Indian Navys diplomatic outreach to friendly foreign navies in the Indian Ocean Region. The ship had arrived at Visakhapatnam on 12 Jul 18 and successfully completed her refit on 14 Nov 18. During the refit, major repairs were undertaken on the ship’s hull, main propulsion and auxiliaries. In addition number of systems and equipment were upgraded for better performance and reliability. All equipment were put through extensive harbour and sea trials so as to achieve full combat capability of the ship and ensure her continuous availability for operations to the Maldives Coast Guard for next operational cycle. MCGS Huravee was originally commissioned as INS Tillanchang, a Trinkat class patrol vessel built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkatta in Mar 2001 and was subsequently gifted to Maldives by the Govt of India in Apr 2006 to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations and work together to ensure the maritime safety of the Indian Ocean Region. The Indian Government through the Navy has undertaken such diplomatic courtesies previously when it undertook the refit of the ship in 2015.

Friday, November 16, 2018

SIMBEX-18 Sea Phase Progress in the Bay of Bengal

First part of the Sea Phase of the 25th Edition of SIMBEX - Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise is progressing in the Bay of Bengal. Indian Naval Ships Ranvijay, Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti, Kirch, Kadmatt, Sumedha and Sukanya under the Command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet are exercising with RSN Ships, Formidable, Steadfast, Unity, Valiant, Vigour and RSS Swordsman, an Archer Class submarine and Swift Rescue, a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) under the Command of Senior Lieutenant Colonel Ho Jee Kien, Commanding Officer of 188 Missile Corvette Squadron. Complex maritime combat drills including live weapon firings are included in the Sea Phase of SIMBEX this year.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Steel Secretary presents "National Sustainability Award" to RINL

Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd-Visakhapatnam (RINL-VSP) is the proud recipient of the "National Sustainability Award - Second Prize" for the year 2018 (Integrated Steel Plants Category) in recognition of Quality Control aspects in the Steel Sector. Sri Binoy Kumar, IAS, Secretary to Govt of India, Ministry of Steel presented the award to Sri PK Rath, CMD, RINL at the 56th National Metallurgists Day Awards function held at Kolkata on Wednesday (14-11-2018). The award was instituted by the Ferrous Division of Indian Institute of Metals (IIM).

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

INS Rana at Surabaya to participate in Indian Navy - Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise

INS Rana of the Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command is on deployment to the South East Asia and arrived at the port of Surabaya to participate in the inaugural edition of Indian Navy - Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise Samudra Shakti scheduled from 12 to 18 November 2018. The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices. The exercise would start with a Harbour Phase scheduled from 12 to 15 November encompassing planning and briefing on various activities, professional interactions, cross deck visits, sports fixtures and social interactions. This would progress to a Sea Phase scheduled from 16 to 18 November and would include operations such as Joint Manoeuvres, Helicopter Operations, Surface Warfare exercise, ASW exercise and Anti Piracy exercises. The strategic partnership between the two nations was elevated to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India in May 18 and Defence co-operation has been a significant pillar in this partnership. The visit of the ship seeks to promote Indias solidarity with Indonesia towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between the navies of the two nations.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

SIMBEX-18 kicks off at India’s Only Tri-Services Command

There are only a few militaries that can boast of continuity and cooperation in the field of maritime combat drills like the navies of India and Singapore - and that too sustained for 25 years. When the frontline ships of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy and those of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) made their entry into the azure waters of Port Blair in the pristine Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 10 November 2018, it was a treat for the on lookers. The ships arrived at Port Blair for the commencement of the 25th edition of the SIMBEX - Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise. Started as Basic ASW exercises in 1994, today these exercises have graduated to complex maritime combat drills including missile and torpedo firings and shore based intensive professional exchanges. Home to India’s only Tri-Services Command, the crew of the participating warships and the Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft and integral helicopters, would go through the last minute exercise coordination details with a fine comb at Port Blair. During the harbour phase, in addition to operational conferences towards preparation of the sea phase of the exercises in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, courtesy calls by both sides on the Senior Military hierarchy are also scheduled. In addition, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges or SMEE as they are commonly known by militaries worldwide are also scheduled. The SMEEs, have over the years provided a platform to formally exchange best practices of respective navies so that learning and improvement never ceases. Cross deck visits by air crew towards deck familiarisation are also planned. Over the next two days, Port Blair is playing host to Indian Naval Ships Ranvijay, Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti, Kirch, Kadmatt, Sumedha and Sukanya along with the RSN Ships, Formidable, Steadfast, Unity, Valiant and Vigour. Maritime Patrol Aircraft of both countries – the versatile P8I of the Indian Navy and Fokker F50 from Singapore would also be based out of Port Blair. Local Flotilla ships based at Port Blair would be ensuring seafront security including in the exercise areas towards smooth conduct of the exercise. Also participating in the exercises are RSS Swordsman, an Archer Class submarine and Swift Rescue, a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV). While the Indian Navy recently inducted a DSRV on the western seaboard and is slated to induct another on its eastern seaboard, it continues to exercise with various navies and assimilate best practices as well as enhance interoperability. The exercises at sea this year are unprecedented and largest of kind in terms of the complexity and weapon firings. The sea phase would be held under Commander Task Group of Joint Forces of SIMBEX-18, Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Ho Jee Kien, Commanding Officer of 188 Missile Corvette Squadron would be leading the Republic of Singapore Navy during the first sea phase and would also be the Deputy Task Group Commander.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Public Hearing on draft CRZ held at Vizag

In 2011 the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a CRZ notification. However it could not be implemented in Vizag as the coastal data was sketchy and further study was required to fix the tide lines and map our coast and parts of the inland accurately with the latest technology. The job of determining the tide lines and suggesting the zoning of the coast for entire AP was entrusted to a central government body - National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM). A Public meeting was organised in Vizag to share the findings in brief with the public and invite comments. During the meeting members from fishing community spoke of their hardship caused due to livelihood lossbecause of CRZ. A valid point emerged that the notices of the public hearing had not reached several fishing villages and the collector acknowledged this and promised to take up further hearings in Mandal HQs. Another issue was that the executive summary was not available in Telugu early enough for people to read and understand. Shabnam Patel, an INTACH member, made important points about how the rules would be implemented and how the violations would be addressed. Her inputs were acknowledged by the panel on the Dias. Sohan Hatagandi, an INTACH member and Environmental Activist, especially mentioned the importance off safeguarding our coastal man made and natural heritage structures when doing the zoning exercise. He also made suggestions on improving the way the new plans are presented to the public. The collector heard all and gave the assurance that more hearings would be conducted before publishing the final plans.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Walmart India Opens Best Price Modern Wholesale Store at Gajuwaka

Walmart India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc, opened its first B2B cash- and-carry store Best Price Modern Wholesale Store near Autonagar Arch at Gajuwaka here on Wednesday (31-10-2018). This is the fourth such Walmart outlet in the State and 23rd in the country. IT and Panchayat Raj Minister N. Lokesh inaugurated the facility. "Walmart should promote the local brands from rural areas. For instance, Naandi Foundation is promoting organic coffee from Araku Valley in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam. Walmart should also encourage such brands to encourage tribal farmers," Mr. Lokesh said. This is the first store in the State since the Walmart India became a fully owned subsidiary of Walmart Store Inc. The firm plans to further expand its footprint and continue to contribute to the State economy. The new store simultaneously got integrated with the B2B e-commerce platform. It has plans to open at least seven new stores in near future. The store is expected to cater to the needs of under-served small businesses such as kirana store owners and resellers, offices and institutions (O&I) and hotels, restaurants and caterers. It will offer a wide range of quality merchandise and local assortment at Every Day Low Prices, convenient payment solutions and door-step delivery to the business members in the city and its adjoining areas. "We are excited about opening the first B2B cash-and-carry store in Vizag. Our fourth store in Andhra Pradesh reinforces our belief in the ease of doing business under the leadership of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu," Walmart India president and CEO Krish Iyer said, adding that Andhra Pradesh was a priority State for the firm. Gajuwaka MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao and Visakha South MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar were present on the occasion.