New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony has asked the Navy and the DRDO to maintain highest safety standards in the nuclear submarine fleet of the country after the mishap at the site of an under-construction vessel at Vishakhapatnam in which one person was killed.
He has also asked the Department of Defence Production to review the safety standards in all defence PSUs and shipyards after a mishap late last week in which a commander-rank officer was killed and two people were hospitalised in the Mazgaon Docks, Defence Ministry officials said.
The Defence minister talked to DRDO chief Avinash Chander and Navy's acting chief Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan on the issue and asked them to ensure Standard Operating Procedures are observed and safety standards maintained, they said.
After the mishap at the facility in Eastern Naval Command to build follow-up submarines of the Arihant Class, the DRDO has ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked authorities including the contractors to observe highest safety standards and adhere to the SOPs, they said.
Though the incident did not have any direct impact on the nuclear submarine programme, government has taken it very seriously as it involved nuclear assets, officials said.
The safety departments in the submarines and their construction shipyards are also to be reviewed and strengthened after the mishap, they said.
Meanwhile, after the minister's instructions, the Department of Defence Production has issued a letter to all DPSUs, shipyards and Ordnance Factories to review their safety standards and safety structure departments, they said.
The ministry has also asked production units under it to review their safety practices and come up with a safety manual for its workers and officials and ensure strict adherence to it.