The Rajabagan Dockyard (RBD) in Kolkata, acquired by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), nearly 16 years ago has finally come of age.
After modernisation of RBD, GRSE will now be able to build and repair larger ships there.
Till recently, this facility was used for smaller vessels that are about 50 metre long. On April 18 — the eve of GRSE’s 63rd Raising Day — this premier defence shipyard docked a 110-metre long ship at dock number 2 of RBD. The ship that docked at RBD was the INS Sandhayak.
The INS Sandhayak is first in the series of four survey vessels (large) being built for the Indian Navy by GRSE. The ship was launched in December 2021 and is now being outfitted for delivery.
The INS Sandhayak is the second vessel of that name being built by GRSE. The first INS Sandhayak — also a survey ship — was completed by the shipyard in 1981. After 40 years of service, it was decommissioned in 2021. But then, this ship was smaller in size as compared to the one being given its finishing touches by GRSE now.
“The docking of this large vessel has transformed RBD into a full-fledged independent yard where ships of this size can be accommodated. This will help in meeting the maritime requirements of India’s eastern seaboard. This also lays emphasis on GRSE’s commitment towards nation building. From 1960, the shipyard has built and delivered over 100 ships to the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. GRSE is the only shipyard to have achieved this. We are also the only shipyard in the country to have built ships for export to friendly nations. GRSE’s performance in shipbuilding and manufacturing of engineering products is unmatched,” a senior official said.
GRSE has the capacity to build 20 ships (big and small) concurrently. It also builds Bailey bridges that are used by the Army, Border Roads Organisation and state governments in rough terrain. Such bridges are also exported.
A latest addition to GRSE’s product basket is the Modular bridge that allows two-way traffic and can even withstand the weight of a tank. Such a bridge across a ravine close to Doklam received accolades from Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. More such bridges have been ordered for forward areas.
The organisation’s Raising Day witnessed wholehearted participation by employees. Among those present were Commodore P.R. Hari (retd), Chairman and Managing Director (officiating), GRSE; R.K. Dash, Director (Finance), GRSE, and other senior officials of GRSE.