Coastal se­cu­rity

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Nation -

It also car­ries es­sen­tials de­tails such as its last port of call and place of reg­is­tra­tion. Ef­forts to get an AIS on smaller trawlers and boats haven’t worked out.

A satellite-based two-way com­mu­ni­cat­ing transpon­der de­vel­oped by the In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion is cur­rently un­der tri­als for fit­ment on boats of smaller length but there is no clar­ity as to who will bear the ₹12,000-14,000 each cost of this.

“Any and every con­tin­gency which could crop up in the near fu­ture will be tested dur­ing this ex­er­cise,” a se­nior naval of­fi­cer who didn’t want to be named said.

Dur­ing the ex­er­cise, 46 Coastal Radar Sta­tions, 74 Na­tional Au­to­matic Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem Chain sta­tions, four Joint Oper­a­tional Cen­ters lo­cated in Mum­bai, Kochi, Vizag and Port Blair and the Gu­ru­gram-based In­for­ma­tion Man­age­ment and Anal­y­sis Cen­tre (IMAC), the nerve cen­tre of coastal sur­veil­lance and mon­i­tor­ing, will be put to test.

The agen­cies tested will in­clude the Direc­torate Gen­eral of Ship­ping, which con­trols mer­chant ship­ping; the Direc­torate Gen­eral of Light­houses and Light­ships, which tracks in­com­ing and out­go­ing ships through the AIS; the Marine Po­lice of coastal states; the In­dian Coast Guard; in­tel­li­gence agen­cies such as the In­tel­li­gence Bureau and the Re­search and Anal­y­sis Wing; the Cus­toms depart­ment; the lo­cal po­lice, and even fishermen. The In­dian Navy will lead the ex­er­cise.

“Pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios will in­clude try­ing to breach the se­cu­rity net of AIS sys­tems, coastal radar sta­tions, Joint Com­mand Cen­ters and 24/7 mon­i­tor­ing to reach In­dian shores from the seas,” the naval of­fi­cer said, ex­plain­ing the aim of the ex­er­cise. In­ter­est­ingly, the ex­act dates are not be­ing shared among var­i­ous stake­hold­ers to keep the el­e­ment of sur­prise. “Re­al­ity checks are all about test­ing ac­tual re­sponse and co­or­di­na­tion, else it be­comes a rigged game,” the of­fi­cer said.

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