The future basing and deployment of ships and submarines will be impacted seriously if the water scarcity continues. Explains a top former naval officer, the drought-like situations near the naval bases which are re-occurring are likely to become a national security threat which needs to be addressed on an immediate basis.
For the Indian Navy, recently a fleet tanker INS Deepak brought water from Mumbai to the Karwar base to help protect the submarines and other warships docked there. Several million litres of water is required to protect critical assets at the INS Kadamba Naval base in Karwar which is facing acute water shortage due to extreme drought-like conditions. The water is required to maintain the submarines and warships which are docked there.
Naval assets from the base which is home to India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and other submarines and ships are being moved temporarily to Mumbai.
“I hope this is a temporary and interim move to tide over the current crisis, otherwise this move will have serious implications,” said a former submariner.
According to the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy Capt DK Sharma, “The Rivers feeding the area have dried up. And the situation will improve with the first shower.”
For the maintenance of ships and submarines and the crews, water at the base is being stored in barges and other storage facilities. Besides getting water from Mumbai, efforts are on to get enough water from nearby Goa until rains come.
The requirement of six million litres of water for the base is being fulfilled by River Gangavali in Ankola taluk which also feeds water to the nearby villages.
For several years now, the country has been facing drought-like situation during summer months in the western and southern states which had last year received less than normal rainfall in 2018. In the absence of the overdue monsoons, reservoirs have dried up.
The worst hit states include Maharashtra and Gujarat in Western India, and states down South including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana down south. Even Madhya Pradesh in central India is facing a crisis.