India will donate a worst Rs 100 crore fast patrol vessel to the Seychelles Coast Guard during the virtual event on Thursday April 8, 2021 which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and new Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan.
The 48.9m fast patrol vessel, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineering, will be used for multi-purpose operations such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching and search and rescue (SAR).
The vessel has already been delivered to the Seychelles on March 16 and will be officially handed over to the Seychelles Coast Guard during the virtual event which is due to take place at 5 p.m.
The fast patrol vessel will be the fourth ship offered by India to the Seychelles and is called PS Zoroaster. Other vessels offered by India are the PS Topaz (2005), the PS Constant (2014), the Patrol Boat Hermes (2016).
Notably, over 50% of Seychelles maritime and air resources and around 70% of capacity development in terms of training, exercise and human resource expertise are provided by India.
The development comes even as the Indian Ocean has seen heightened threats such as piracy, illegal fishing and the Chinese presence.
India will also hand over a 1 MW solar power plant on the island of Romainville in the Seychelles. The plant was completed as part of the “Solar Photovoltaic Democratization Project” implemented in Seychelles by the Indian government under a grant. The 1 MW solar power plant project will generate around 14 lakh units of electricity per year, meeting the electricity consumption of around 400 Seychellois homes throughout the year.
According to a statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, “Seychelles is central to the Prime Minister’s vision of” SAGAR “-” Security and growth for all in the region. “The launch of these key projects demonstrates that the India is privileged and time-tested role as a reliable partner of Seychelles in meeting its infrastructure, development and security demands and a testament to the deep and friendly bonds between the people of India and Seychelles . “
Besides handing over the patrol boat and solar power plant, the two parties will jointly inaugurate the new Magistrate Court building in Seychelles, 10 high impact community development projects. The new Magistrate Court building in the capital Victoria TGE is the first major civil infrastructure project in Seychelles built with the help of grants. The building brings together the courts of first instance spread over different places in Mahé in a single building. It houses eight courtrooms spread over three floors, awaiting areas for the public and parking spaces for court users, multifunctional conference rooms and other such facilities.
Thursday’s virtual event will be Prime Minister Modi’s first interaction with President Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles. President Wavel, of Indian descent with ancestral roots in the Gopalganj district of Bihar, came to power in October 2020. He visited India in January 2018 as part of the PIO conference of parliamentarians and had also visited his native village ‘Parsauni’.
India stepped up engagement with Seychelles with EAM S Jaishanker’s visit to the country in November 2020, becoming the first foreign minister to visit after Ramkalawan took office.
Prime Minister Modi visited the country in 2015, which was the Indian Prime Minister’s first visit in 33 years.