Along with its sometimes sputtering economic growth and growing reputation as one of the world's largest arms importer, India has begun to assert its status as a naval power, something it has begun to literally advertise in videos like the one above. On Wednesday, a big part of this plan was made reality when the INS Vajrakosh was commissioned in Karwar, Karnataka. Vajrakosh is a new naval station that covers over 600 acres of land, getting the Navy to boast that it is the largest naval base east of the Suez canal.
The Modi government has pushed more aggressively for the completion of the project which has seen many delays in the past. Under the present government the project was given speedy environmental clearances in 2014. The Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar explained this decision through by claiming, "if country was secure, then environment will be secure and people will be safe." This even as the locals have been struggling against the navy's expansion plans since 1985.
Karwar works best as a strategic location for the Indian navy, since Mumbai is a port city with merchant vessels coming in and an already crowded navy presence.
With the addition of INS Vajrakosh, the new naval base would be the home base for a bulk of the Indian Navy's strength. It alone will occupy 600 acres and house 47 warships and submarines in underground pens and is poised to become the focus of India's naval operations, a major effort of New Delhi's military ambitions in recent years, as this PressTV report points.