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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

CAG says govt response for coast guard after 26/11 ad hoc

PTI  New Delhi, August 05, 2011
First Published: 22:22 IST(5/8/2011) | Last Updated: 22:25 IST(5/8/2011)

Observing that the coast guard was "ill-equipped" to discharge its enhanced role, the CAG on Friday slammed the government's "ad hoc" response to strengthen the force following the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

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In its report tabled in the Parliament, the Government auditor said the coast guard was functioning with a large number of ships which were "meant to be decommissioned but which have not been phased out as their replacements have not materialsed."

"In an era of heightened coastal security concerns, ICG remains ill-equipped to discharge its enhanced role and meet the challenges of today... Post 26/11, the response of ICG and government has been 'ad hoc' as can be witnessed by increased patrolling, increased funding, fast tracking procurements."

Analysing the steps taken by the force after the 26/11 attacks, the CAG said that post-incident, the government has sanctioned 14 new coast guard stations of which only five have been activated till now.

"The stations continue to function with fleet and infrastructural deficiencies. A check has revealed that in three stations as of December, the stations didn't have vessels in adequate strength,"it said.

The audit reports says that at least 16 coast guard stations didn't have basic facilities like jetties for berthing ships.

The CAG noted that although coastal security was a major concern after 26/11 attacks on Mumbai, "Government failed to issue clear cut directions or enunciate a policy for coastal security till recently."

"Post 26/11, the coast guard was initially designated as the agency for guarding the coast line with the support of Navy and then the Navy was designated as overall authority for coastal security with support of the Coast Guard."

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