10 years on, Coast Guard gets Raigad plot for radar station
A decade after the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) applied for around 10 hectares (ha) of forest land at Murud in Raigad district, the state cleared the proposal and allotted the same last month. The ICG plans to set up a base as well as install a radar system to strengthen the coastal security in the western region.
Apart from the radar station, the base will include a communication centre and operations room, as well as several electronic surveillance systems to ensure both physical and electronic monitoring of the coastline as well as the harbour, said an ICG official.
ICG spokesperson and Commandant RK Singh confirmed that 10ha of permanent forest land has been diverted to the ICG. He said that they also received Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance from the government a week ago. “The plot is situated around 1.5km above sea level in Murud taluka due to which there will be no obstruction for surveillance,” he said.
After the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the government decided to protect territorial waters and planned to build several coast guard stations in the coastal area. A full-fledged coast guard station was constructed at Dahanu in 2010 and a coast guard station at Murud-Janjira was commissioned the same year. However, coast guard officials posted at Murud-Janjira were operating form a rented accommodation till now, said Singh.
“The construction work of the administration building and other facilities has started and will be completed soon. There are interceptor boats and fast patrol vessels along with other surveillance to monitor the fishing harbour and keep vigilance on the coast south of Mumbai,” said Singh.
“For a long time we made efforts to obtain the land and finally, the government has diverted it to the ICG and give CRZ clearance. We are planning to set up a radar station, communication centre, operational room, and other surveillance to keep our vigilance physically and electronically strong,” he said.
To increase coastal security, a committee was set up by the government after the 26/11 attack, which decided to install coastal radars in two phases. As per the first phase, 46 coastal radars were made functional across India, 18 of which are along the western region. These radars can detect a human body at a distance of 23 kilometres in the sea, said an ICG official.
In the second phase, 38 additional radar stations, including four mobile stations will be installed to improve the coastal security network. Of the proposed 38 radar stations, 14 will be in the western region and most of the land for the same has been finalized.