‘Navy Finalising SOP To Deal With Natural Disasters In Asia-Pacific Region’

Panaji:  The Indian Navy is in the process of finalising a standard operating procedure (SOP) for dealing with natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said here on Monday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Goa Maritime Conclave, Kumar also said that India came to the aid of 20 countries in the oceanic region during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Indian Navy is in the process of finalising an SOP for dealing with natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region. We are happy to share this SOP with all our friendly nations and we hope that this will be help improve our collective preparedness to deal with natural calamities in the region,” Kumar said in his address.

“In India, we are particularly proud of the fact that the Indian Navy was able to not only provide maritime security, but undertook the challenging task of providing assistance where no one else could, whether it was for repatriation of over 4,000 people who had no other way to come back to the homeland or be it bringing oxygen cylinders when the country was facing oxygen crisis. India and the Indian Navy stood firm,” he said.

“We came to the aid of our littoral neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region, whether it was medical aid or maritime peace. Over 500 tonnes of medical aid was supplied to our littoral friends in this period,” he said, adding that the pandemic was especially challenging for the navies given the nature of their work and it was only with the strictest protocols and discipline that they were able to discharge their responsibilities without fail.

Kumar also said that the Indian Navy provided 3,000 tonnes of food during the pandemic to countries in the Indian Ocean Region.

“Over 14,000 oxygen cylinders were supplied to our littoral friends during the pandemic. I’m really proud of the fact that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Indian Navy was able to meet the requirements of nearly 20 countries in this region. We are sure that this effort will continue in the coming times,” he said.

(IANS)