New Delhi: The government will start a fresh process this month to procure 12 advanced minesweepers for the Indian Navy after negotiations for the Rs 32,000-crore project between the Goa Shipyard and a South Korean company hit a dead-end. The Navy badly needs the minesweepers or mine counter-measure vessels to guard India's critical sea lanes in the backdrop of China's growing naval might in the Indian Ocean region.
"We will issue fresh EoI (Expression of Interest) for the project very soon. It will be issued this month," Chairman of state-run Goa Shipyard Ltd Rear Admiral (Retd.) Shekhar Mital. Sources said the Goa Shipyard Ltd had to call off the negotiations with Kangnam Corporation following differences over a host of issues including terms and conditions for technology transfer.
The EoI is likely to be issued to a number of major foreign defence majors which build minesweepers. According to original understanding, the Goa Shipyard and the Kangam Corporation were to build 12 minesweepers in India under the Make in India initiative and the deliveries were to be completed within nine years of the start of the project. However, both sides struggled to finalise various key aspects of the project.
A parliamentary standing committee on defence last year had slammed the government for delay in procurement of the minesweepers and asked it to make efforts to fill the gap in the Navy's capability. The minesweeper ships detect and destroy underwater mines and are considered vital for keeping the critical sea lanes.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.