In the wake of Mumbai attacks, when terrorists used sea route to strike the city, Government on Saturday took a host of measures, including acquisition of ships, installation of radars and setting up of new coast guard stations, to strengthen security of coastal areas.
“In a high-level meeting to review the security of coastal areas, Defence Minister A K Antony cleared several proposals which will help in improving the security along our coastline,” Defence Ministry officials said.
To augment Coast Guard's surveillance capabilities, the Government also approved the acquisition of hi-tech equipment.
“Defence Minister cleared the proposal for global acquisition of cutting-edge equipment and interceptor boats on a fast-track basis, so that arrangements for increasing security of Indian waters can be done as early as possible,” the officials said.
Besides the Coast Guard, which have a fleet of 70 small and big vessels, was allowed to lease and hire ships from the global market, they said.
It was also decided during the meeting to set up nine coast guard stations in addition to the existing 13 for better coverage of the country's 7,500 km-long coastline.
“Government decided to set up nine more Coast Guard stations and will soon send a proposal to the Cabinet for its approval,” the officials said.Another major decision taken during the meeting was to install radars to fill in the coverage-gap along the coastal line on both the sea-boards. PTI
"The Government has decided to provide complete radar coverage to both the eastern and the western sea boards so that there is no scope left for intrusion from both sides," they said.
Defence Ministry will be working in consultation with the Shipping Ministry to complete the project, officials said.
The decision comes in the wake of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in one its reports, pointing out that due to lack of assets, there were huge gaps left in the radar coverage along the coastal boundaries.
On the issue of intelligence sharing, the Defence Minister asked the Coast Guard to coordinate with the Indian Navy and other intelligence agencies for sharing information about developments in the sea, officials added.