Staff Reporter

Kochi: The coastal defence mechanism of the State received a fresh impetus and focus with the visit of Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan to the Naval Base here on Thursday.

Ms. Gangadharan held discussions with Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command and Commander-in-Chief of Coastal Defence. Later, she visited the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) for Coastal Defence. The JOC, set up at the Naval Base by the Southern Naval Command recently, has the capability to monitor the State’s coastline; it receives real time data from surveillance assets at sea and air. The Navy has also provided earmarked workspace at the JOC for various State and Central agencies such as the Indian Coast Guard, the Marine Police, and port authorities.

During a meeting at the Coast Guard headquarters at Fort Kochi later in the day, Ms. Gangadharan was apprised of the modalities of a coastal security exercise scheduled by the Commander-in-Chief, Coastal Defence. The exercise, to be conducted by the Indian Coast Guard, is expected to see the participation of all stakeholders including the Army, Air Force, Marine Police and other Central and State agencies.