Defence Minister A.K.
Antony on Saturday inaugurated the Maharashtra cluster of the chain of
static sensors aimed at providing real-time surveillance along the
coastline. This is the first of a coastal surveillance network
comprising static radar and electro-optic sensors at 84 remote sites
along the coastline, including the island territories, to detect
movement of suspicious vessels. The project is based on the
recommendations made by the Group of Ministers on reforming the national
security system, post Kargli conflct and accelerated after 26/11 Mumbai
Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said guarding the Indian
coastline is a "challenging" and "herculean" task. Antony also said that
the western coastline is highly sensitive and hence the decision was
taken to make the cluster in Maharashtra and Gujarat operational first.
"The fast changing coastal security scenario and the varied threat
perceptions require proper coordination and alertness. The role of
fishermen community acquires a singular importance. We must ensure
maximum community participation to strengthen our coastal security," he
said. "The implementation of the coastal surveillance network is a major
step in enhancing the electronic surveillance capability of the Coast
Guard," Mr.Antony added.
The sensors are
operational with radar stations fitted at Tarapur, Korlai, Tolkeshwar
and Devgad as part of the chain of static sensors project by the Coast
Guard. Phase one of the project envisages real-time surveillance cover
up to 25 nautical miles around the areas of high sensitivity and traffic
density along the Indian coastline.
High end surveillance gadgets such as frequency diversity radar,
electro-optic sensor, VHF sets and metrological equipment have been
installed on either existing light houses or masts erected at each
sites. Data generated by the static sensors at the remote operating
stations will come to the Guard regional headquarters which will serve
as regional operating centres.