New Delhi(dna): Taking short-cuts and not following standard operating procedures (SOPs) is the reason behind a series of mishaps involving Indian Navy vessels, including the INS Sindhurakshak, said defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday at Mazgaon Dock Limited. He was in the city to unveil India's first Scorpene submarine.
Parrikar blamed the men in uniform for not taking adequate precautions while handling equipments on warships and submarines of the Indian Navy. "There are SOPs but they are not followed," he said, adding that SOPs were being followed in 'relax' mode. "We will further improve our SOPs depending upon the recommendations made by the board of inquiry reports on various mishaps," added the minister.
According to him, the defence ministry has been stressing on following of laid down SOPs and had made them more stringent. The men in uniform are made responsible and accountable, "more so in submarines due to the close and compact environment of it," said Parrikar.
He dismissed the February 12-13 incident with the INS Sindhughosh off Karwar coast as an error by the fishing trawler and not that of the submarine's crew. On the intervening night of February 12-13, when Indian Navy's biggest exercise was underway, a fishing boat damaged the periscope of the vessel.
The biggest peacetime disaster for Indian Navy has been the sinking of the INS Sindhurakshak on August 14, 2013. India has lost only one vessel during wartime – INS Khukri on December 9, 1971. Thereafter,during peacetime there have been 29 major and minor mishaps wherein at least 51 personnel have lost their lives and a minimum of 23 others were injured.