Defence Minister Shri
AK Antony has said that the role of fishing community is vital in
strengthening of coastal security mechanism. Inaugurating the three-day
long, 31st Annual Coast Guard Commanders’ Conference here today, he said
that community interaction programme is to be given impetus in order to
sensitize 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 have been approved and adequate
funds have been provided. Shri Antony said, “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”.Adding further, he said that the phase-I of the Coastal
Surveillance Network project is nearing completion. He said 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 remarked. 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 MP Muralidharan,
in his address 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. 01 Pollution
Control Vessel, 04 Inshore Patrol Vessels, 02 Air Cushion Vessels, 01
Interceptor Boat and 04 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 02 Air Stations, 05 Air Enclaves
and 04 Dornier Squadrons has also been prioritized.
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