The Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy was in the process of acquiring modern aircraft, including the MIG-29K fighter aircraft and P81 Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft, Naval Officer-in-charge, Tamil Nadu and Puduchery, Commodore Amar K. Mahadevan said on Monday.
Talking to reporters here, he said the modern aircraft would strengthen the force along the eastern seaboard and the initiatives were in consonance with India’s ‘Look East’ policy. Naval infrastructure in this part of the country was focussed on preventing activities detrimental to the territorial integrity and economic/social growth of the nation.
The aircraft, expected to be inducted into the fleet in 2013, would be stationed at Arakkonam and Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. “Since the coastline is vast, patrolling is a challenge. We are reaching out to as many fishermen as possible and educating them on the perils of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line."
Responding to a question on the detention of some fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on Monday, he said there was no information of any harassment or violence against the fishermen. “For some reasons they seem to have crossed the borders and ventured into the other side. We are advising our fishermen to remain safe within Indian waters.”
Commodore Mahadevan said the Navy was assisting the State Government in preventing smuggling of contraband substances, poaching of endangered species and movement of movement of unauthorised persons in the sea. “We ensured the smooth conduct of the Katchatheevu festival by coordinating with the Sri Lankan Navy in March this year. Rescue of fishermen stranded in inclement weather conditions was another routine activity of the force.”