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SOURCE: THE HINDU

The Indian Navy is likely to set up an advanced system for communicating with its fleet of submarines, including those propelled by nuclear reactors, at Donakonda in Prakasam district.

The Andhra Pradesh government offered about 2,600 acres for this high-security facility, for which soil testing is currently underway, according to Minister for Industries and Commerce Mekapati Goutham Reddy, who held parleys on it with top administrators in the Navy during his recent visit to New Delhi.

Mr. Reddy told The Hindu that it is an ultra low-frequency communication system which the Navy is looking at, and that the proposed defence cluster in Donakonda where the installation is coming up, has also been chosen by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for setting up a strategic air-base.

The IAF has agreed to give it for commercial flight services over a period of time. Mr. Reddy said the government is taking steps for clearing certain hurdles in the establishment of the Navy’s Alternative Operational Base (AOB) at Rambilli in Visakhapatnam district.

Discussions were held on issues related to the development of a port at Rambilli that largely caters to AOB.

The handing over of about 55 acres on Dolphin’s Nose in Visakhapatnam to Navy on grounds of national security in view of the threat posed by the location of a place of worship on the hill that overlooks the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam port, Hindustan Shipyard and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve site was also dwelt upon.

Monitoring of fishing boats and fish landing centres that dot the 900 km-long coastline was another thing that formed a part of the deliberations.

Coming to the ports sector, Mr. Reddy said priority was given to the development of ports at Ramayapatnam, Bhavanapadu and Machilipatnam.

The Central government has shown interest in partnering with the State government in the establishment of Bhavanapadu port in Srikakulam district which has an 18-meter draft, he stated.