Top Secret: ‘Project Varsha’ is India’s answer to Chinese presence in Gwadar
New Delhi: The Pakistan Government had formally handed over the possession of strategically located 'Gwadar' port to China last February. The port which is located in troubled Baluchistan area would prove detrimental for India as China would keep a military eye on our country despite claims of only trade use of the port. India may not be able to stop the transfer of the port to China, but, it is silently developing a port across Eastern border.
The Indian Navy is developing a new top-secret naval base for its nuclear submarines, code-named Project Varsha, and located within a radius of approximately 200 kilometers from Visakhapatnam. The new base is designed to support all 8-12 Arihant -class submarines to be built for the Indian Navy and it will include state-of-the-art nuclear engineering support facilities and extensive crew accommodation.
While designed principally as a nuclear submarine support facility, the new base can accommodate other naval vessels because of the Indian Navy's expansion. This facility has been compared to the top-secret Hainan nuclear submarine base for the Chinese PLA Navy. This east coast base expansion program by the Indian Navy is in direct response to Chinese naval expansion into the region.
Sources say that India had planned the port much earlier, however, with Chinese presence in Gwadar, it has pressed on the gas. A flurry of discussions and meetings has been held in the PMO and defence ministry over the last couple of months to proceed on the secret venture.
The project would bolster country's nuclear deterrence against its mighty opponents. It would also help in guarding the naval trade corridors of the country.