Rs. 1.90 crore has been paid to government as compensation

Post 26/11 plans to set up an air base of the Coast Guard to intensify air surveillance is facing land acquisition issues.

Rajender Singh Sapal, Coast Guard’s District Operations and Plans Officer for Commander, said in a press release that the Coast Guard was pursuing the matter with district administration vigorously “but the progress is slow.”

The Coast Guard has paid Rs. 1.90 crore to the State government for payment of compensation to the land owners. “Suitable piece of land has been identified … however, due to various issues in the district administration of Dakshina Kannada, the land has not yet been handed over to the Defence Estates Officer,” Mr. Sapal said.

The Coast Guard, he said, was acquiring land for construction of the air base at old airport at Bajpe and was inducting surveillance aircraft and helicopters. The Coast Guard is tasked to patrol the coast and conduct aerial surveillance off the coast of Karnataka and exclusive economic zone up to 400 km from the coast.

Mr. Sapal said the Coast Guard is also planning to station two hovercraft at Mangalore to augment coastal security for which land has been earmarked. The matter was with the district administration. There was plan to have a base for the hovercraft at Kodibag near Karwar and efforts were on the persuade the Uttara Kannada administration and the Forest Department to facilitate its construction.

He said inimical elements would look to take advantage of the rough seas during the monsoon and it was important to increase the coastal surveillance.

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