Antony in­au­gu­rates 31st Coast Guard Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY -

De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony has said that the role of fish­ing community is vi­tal in strength­en­ing of coastal se­cu­rity mech­a­nism. In­au­gu­rat­ing the three-day 31st An­nual Coast Guard Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence in New Delhi, he said that community in­ter­ac­tion pro­gramme is to be given im­pe­tus in or­der to sensitise the fish­ing community on the pre­vail­ing se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion and to de­velop them to be the “eyes and ears” for in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing.

High­light­ing the ex­pan­sion and strength­en­ing of the Coast Guard, he said, the Coast Guard De­vel­op­ment Plan has been ap­proved and ad­e­quate funds have been pro­vided. “The ser­vice is on course to dou­ble its as­sets and ca­pac­ity build­ing in the next four-five years. A Coast Guard Re­gional Head­quar­ters (North East) and five Coast Guard Sta­tions have been es­tab­lished. By the end of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, an­other six sanc­tioned sta­tions are also likely to be es­tab­lished”. The Phase-I of the Coastal Sur­veil­lance Net­work project is near­ing com­ple­tion and the sys­tem will in­deed pro­vide ad­di­tional mea­sures to­wards elec­tronic sur­veil­lance.

“We aim to achieve near-gap-free elec­tronic sur­veil­lance along our coasts and to­wards this end, Phase-II of the project will be started soon af­ter the com­ple­tion of the first phase.” He com­mended all the Coast Guard per­son­nel for their com­mit­ment, courage and in­volve­ment while dis­charg­ing their du­ties and said “maritime se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture, as it stands to­day, is quite ro­bust and ca­pa­ble of han­dling var­i­ous se­cu­rity chal­lenges at sea”.

The Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, In­dian Coast Guard, Vice Ad­mi­ral M.P. Mu­ralid­ha­ran, high­lighted the progress made by the Coast Guard in ac­qui­si­tion cases of var­i­ous types of ships and air­crafts, de­vel­op­ment of in­fra­struc­ture, in­duc­tion of man­power in the ser­vice and en­hanced ef­forts for sur­veil­lance of the coast and the sea ar­eas. One pol­lu­tion con­trol ves­sel, four in­shore pa­trol ves­sels, two air cush­ion ves­sels, one in­ter­cep­tor boat and four in­ter­cep­tor crafts have been in­ducted into the ser­vice. He said that the Coast Guard aims to achieve a force level of 150 sur­face plat­forms by the year 2018.

One Dornier Squadron has been es­tab­lished at Por­ban­dar since the last Com­man­ders` Con­fer­ence. Es­tab­lish­ing of two Air Sta­tions, five Air En­claves and four Dornier Squadrons has also been pri­ori­tised.

The con­fer­ence will help the Coast Guard Com­man­ders in anal­y­sis of the op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties, de­ploy­ment of forces and prepa­ra­tions for the fu­ture chal­lenges. It will also pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to the Com­man­ders to in­tro­spect the stan­dards achieved in the wide spec­trum of Coast Guard re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony ad­dress­ing the 31st An­nual Coast Guard Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence in New Delhi on Septem­ber 20, 2012. De­fence Sec­re­tary Shashikant Sharma and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Coast Guard,

Vice Ad­mi­ral M.P. Mu­ralid­ha­ran are also seen.

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