Eco nod for Coast Guard Academy soon


With the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority giving a leg up to the proposed Coast Guard Academy project at Azheekal in northern Kerala after initial hesitance, the Coast Guard is hopeful of getting early environmental clearance for the ambitious training facility being planned to be set up over an area of 164 acres.

Sources said that the project would get the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) nod in a month or two.

Preliminary talks

“The MoEF held a preliminary round of deliberations over eco clearance for the project recently and another round is likely to be held in Delhi next month. Once this is obtained, the State Irrigation Department will construct a retaining wall on the riverside of the campus to prevent soil erosion. There will be no hold-up afterwards, as everything else is in place,” said a top source.

While the ab-initio training of Coast Guard personnel will continue to be with the Navy, the academy will offer service-specific courses in search and rescue, pollution response, maritime law, and administrative rules and stipulations.

Two big vessels

Right now, the Coast Guard is augmenting its force levels in Kerala with two major inductions this year.

Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) Saarthi, being built by the State-owned Goa Shipyard as part of a class of six vessels, is scheduled to join the force’s district headquarters number 4 (based at Fort Kochi) with jurisdiction over Kerala and Mahe in September.

The 100-metre-long vessel will be among the biggest to be operated by the force and will join the OPV CGS Samar, already attached to DHQ No. 4.

The second major ship to join the fleet in Kochi will be ICGS Aryaman, a 50-metre fast patrol vessel, one of the 20 built by the Cochin Shipyard for Coast Guard.

Coastal radars

Besides augmenting force levels, the Coast Guard in Kerala will accelerate the setting up of static sensors.

“The second phase of the coastal radar chain, comprising six static radars in as many locations, is scheduled to be under way soon. The locations have been identified and wherever necessary, discussions have been held with stakeholders including the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships. Only in Alappuzha, the radar is coming up on land made available by the State government,” said sources.

The academy will offer courses in search and rescue, pollution response, maritime law.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:40:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/Eco-nod-for-Coast-Guard-Academy-soon/article14425375.ece

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