Coast Guard vessels showcase capabilities and prowess

Emphasising that Indian fishermen were not attacked within the country’s territories, Coast Guard (East) Inspector-General S.P. Sharma said the Coast Guard had ensured that Indian fishermen were not harassed or attacked in Indian waters.

Addressing mediapersons on board the Coast Guard Ship Sagar, Mr. Sharma said the Palk Strait was a sensitive area and the Coast Guard had rendered all help to fishermen in distress.

Asked why the Coast Guard with its capabilities could not prevent attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen, he said all assistance had been provided to protect the fishermen in Indian waters.

He, however, declined to comment on the talks between the fishermen of Sri Lanka and India, saying that he knew about the issue only through the media. He added that he had not been invited for the talks.

Mr. Sharma said the Coast Guard had warned fishermen in advance about any impending calamity and ensured that there was no causality in the recent spell of cyclones.

To a question whether the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) site had been given greater security by the Coast Guard in view of the perception in certain quarters about the strained relations between India and Sri Lanka, he said the Coast Guard had always kept vigil irrespective of the fact that a country was friendly or unfriendly towards India.

“Whether it is the Kalpakkam Nuclear Plant or the Kudankulam Power Plant or a thermal power plant, they are assets of the country,” he told reporters after participating in the celebration connected with 38 raising day of the Coast Guard.

Mr. Sharma said the Coast Guard had sought permanent berths in ports such as Krishnapatnam, Karaikal, Kattupalli, Kakinada and Ennore.

“As a national security agency, we always get priority in all Indian ports. The Indian government has issued direction to all ports to allocate berth for our ships,” he said.

Besides surveillance, the Coast Guard had interactions with fishermen in every village, creating awareness about the need for saving turtles coming to India for breeding.

“When these turtles get trapped in the fishing nets, the fishermen release them. We joined hands with M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation to organise an interactive programme,” he explained. Sunday’s programme witnessed the Coast Guard vessels showcasing their capabilities and prowess.

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