Naval base to come up in West Bengal: Official

March 16th, 2009 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) The central government has asked West Bengal to acquire land near the Kolkata port for a new naval base, a senior official said here Monday.
“The central government has asked us for land near the Kolkata port for setting up of a naval base. It will be based in a way so as to be able to operate from Haldia port too,” Additional Chief Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters here.

Sen said the central government has also asked the states to create a special force to guard industrial installations.

“We received a proposal from the central government a few days back asking us, along with all other states, to set up SISF (State Industrial Security Force) in West Bengal to safeguard all major industrial installations,” Sen said.

“However, we have not yet taken a decision on this issue as it will cost a lot of money to set up a state-of-the-art force. The minimum cost of maintaining one battalion is Rs.10 crore (Rs.100 million). Besides, there are other expenditures towards infrastructure etc,” he said.

“We definitely want to have our own SISF but need some time.”

However, Sen refused to give more details on the SISF or the naval base saying it was too early to comment.

“We have just received both the proposals. So, we have hardly had the time to think over it. Only after we get things clarified will we be able to tell the media about details like actual cost, place, time and manpower required for the projects,” Sen said.

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