For coastal security, Maharashtra needs to regularise its haphazard fishing industry acknowledged Union minister for defence AK Antony at the inauguration of the coastal surveillance network at Mumbai on Saturday.
For both the Indian Coast Guards and the Indian Navy, regulating Indian fishing boats across Maharashtra’s coastline has been a primary problem.
Navy and Coast Guard sources said that despite numerous communications, the Maharashtra government has been reticent to regulate fishing boats in the state.
Antony said that though the chain of static sensors to monitor high sensitivity and high traffic density along the Indian coast is a step forward, it isn’t completely foolproof.
The Defense Minister sought for greater collaboration of state governments to ensure coastal security is propped up.
The surveillance system is an integrated network of radars, day and night electro-optical equipment, automatic identification system (AIS) and meteorological equipment.
“The system was successfully tested in Gujarat and at Tarapur near Mumbai. Not only can it spot a small fishing ship, it can even give you clear visual of a human body within 20 nautical miles of the coast,” said a Coast Guard official requesting anonymity.
The surveillance systems would be wired to transmit data to the base stations along the entire coastline with radio data links.
The base stations in turn would be connected to the national integrated network that would allow authorities to monitor the sea up to 25 nautical miles in real time.
According to secretary (defense production) Shekhat Aggarwal, the first phase of coastal surveillance which includes 36 stations along the coastline will be activated in September 2012.