Will be in place on mainland by September
A chain of static sensors along the mainland and island territories are being installed to bolster coastal surveillance and security under the Indian Coast Guard.
The installations will be put in place on the mainland by September, and on island territories by March of next year, Director General of Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral M.P. Muralidharan, AVSM, NM, said on Wednesday.
Declaring the commissioning of Indian Coast Guard Station here in Karaikal, Vice Admiral Muralidharan envisaged 36 radar stations on the mainland from Gujarat to West Bengal, and six radar stations in Lakshadweep group of islands and four radar stations in Andaman group of islands.
“These radars would be remotely controlled from various key stations along the coast to keep track of ships, vessels and units.” The commissioning of the Indian Coast Guard station in Karaikal would mark the 35 CGS of the country, fifth CGS along Tamil Nadu Coast and second in Puducherry territory. ICGS Karaikal had ushered in an asset addition to the existing Coast Guard stations along the Tamil Nadu coast in Chennai, Tuticorin, Mandapam and Puducherry.
Vice Admiral Muralidharan viewed ICGS Karaikal as a response to the growing strategic importance of the region that supported a host of vital installations including offshore drills of ONGC and CPCL, fishing harbours and the private port of Karaikal.
According to the Vice Admiral, the coastal security scenario had altered greatly with the increase in maritime commercial traffic that called for an efficient framework of maritime security.
This envisaged marine environment protection, disaster management, medical emergencies, and anti-poaching operations, refugee repatriation alongside Search and Rescue Missions (SAR) and law enforcement at sea. With the expanded mandate, Indian Coast Guard assumed greater significance, the Vice Admiral said.
Further, a dedicated district headquarters for Coast Guard, full-fledged air enclave and a hoverport was on the anvil for Puducherry. The asset addition is proposed to be realised within the course of next five years.
The Indian Coast Guard Station, Karaikal would function from its rented premises for the time being. As of date, land acquisition for over 20 acres was under way, and with time, a full-fledged set up along with officers’ accommodation would be put in place, Vice Admiral Muralidharan said.
In addition, the private MARG Karaikal port would provide dedicated berthing facilities for Coast Guard inshore patrol vessels (IPVs), small ships and interceptor boats.
The station would use existing helipads here. “We see fisherfolk as eyes and ears of Coast Guard, and there would be constant community engagement,” the Vice Admiral said, seeking participation from all stakeholders concerned.