| People queue up to have a look at a fleet of six warships of Eastern Naval Command in Paradip. Telegraph picture |
Paradip, Nov. 5: The might of the country’s naval ships was thrown open for public view today in Paradip.
For many, it was an experience of a lifetime to watch a fleet of six warships of Eastern Naval Command from close quarters.
The spectators, including schoolchildren, grabbed the scope to have a close look at the technical wizardry of the country’s naval warships.
“The ships of the eastern fleet — Airavat, Ranjit and four other warships — were thrown open for public view. Our objective was to make the people aware of the navy’s preparedness to safeguard the country’s security and sovereignty. Apart from exposure, an exercise of this nature also aims to imbibe patriotic spirit in youths,” said lieutenant commander and public relation officer of eastern naval fleet Pramod Menon.
“Public response was overwhelming. Right from early morning hours, there was a heavy rush of enthusiastic people. The crowd mostly consisted of schoolchildren and youths aged between 18 and 25 years,” said Menon.
“The visitors asked questions to the naval personnel. They patiently explained the technical aspect of the operation of warships, rocket launchers and missiles. We were pleased to find that people evinced interest and displayed inquisitiveness to know more about naval operation,” said the lieutenant commander.
“I was delighted to get on Airavat. I got to know that the warship was capable of launching an assault wave consisting of 250 troops, 15 to 20 tanks and other vehicles unto the enemy coast. Its might and capability left me stupefied,” said Dipti Prakash Pattnaik, a local resident.
“The security check at the entrance was annoying. There was an unending queue of people. But, the exciting experience of closely watching the warships was too tempting to resist. The naval personnel were courteous and polite. They guided everybody and put everything in plain words. They simply elucidated the complexities of weaponry of the warships,” said Radhakanta Mohanty, another visitor.
“Watching the warships was an experience that I would treasure for the rest of my life. There was public display last year too but I had missed it because of illness. Today’s experience has imbibed the spirit in me to join the Navy. The navy personnel are protecting the country in adverse conditions while putting their lives at risk,” said Swagat Rout, a Class VIII student of a local school.