Chennai: Indian Navy is planning to further develop the port capabilities of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu to be able to make it as one of its forward operating base, a senior naval official said here on Monday.
"There is a proposal with the Navy to develop Tuticorin (port) further to augment its capability in terms of capacity. The Navy is looking to expand its use for naval operations," Commodore Amar K Mahadevan, Naval Officer In-charge (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) told reporters here.
The proposal to develop Tuticorin was part of the 12th five-year plan under the Ministry of Defence, he said, adding, developing the port would have berths for naval ships and the Indian Navy can have a better reach in that area.
"It would take a long time, as lots of lands have to be acquired for the Navy and people there have to be replaced," he said.
Earlier, he read the Navy Day message and said the theme for naval activities for 2015 is "Indian Navy ? Ensuring Secure Seas for a Resurgent Nation."
Replying to a query, he said the Navy was facing 20 to 25 per cent shortage in its force.
Asked about the arrest and conviction of an agent of Pakistani ISI agency, who reportedly had taken pictures of some naval establishments in India, he said "with a mobile phone anyone can take a picture from outside. But he has not been able to take any picture of the inside of the establishment."
Commenting on the movement of Chinese ships in the Bay of Bengal area, he said China was building ports for Lanka and Indian Navy was totally aware of the movement of ships in the area.