Puducherry

Vigil along eastern coast shored up, says IG

Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard Region East, Chennai (centre) ,V. Shivakumar and Saran Singh, president of Association of Asia Scholars at the conference in Puducherry on Wednesday. Photo: T. Singaravelou  

Commander, Coast Guard Region (East) Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma on Wednesday said vigil on the eastern coast has been enhanced following recent threats to eastern coastal areas.

Asked about new terror threats to eastern coastal areas, Mr.Sharma told The Hindu that the coast guard has increased vigil besides doubling the manpower to the force.

Referring to terror threats by Al Qaeda to the eastern coast, Mr. Sharma said, “We can not lower our guard at any given time… Threat to Vishakapatinam and coastal areas, we have increased number of ships which were deployed- two in Andhra Pradesh, three in northern coastal part of Tamil Nadu, two in Gulf of Mannar, one ship in Palk straits. There were eight ships and round the clock surveillance by aircraft.”

Radar network

In addition to those measures, the officer also said, “We have coastal security network-radars. We are keeping watch on it to see that any out of the ordinary vessel does not come in. If at all we found any such vessel, we will investigate.”

He added that the coast guard had replaced ageing ships with a young fleet.

Earlier, addressing the conference on “MaritimeSecurity: Unlocking India’s Great Power Partnership”, Mr. Sharma stressed the need to have a proactive approach towards comprehensive maritime policy.

He said, “Besides the traditional menace of piracy and drug smuggling, the threat looming large in and around our seas is maritime terrorism which in the recent past has assumed serious dimensions.

The 26/11 act in Mumbai was the blatant display of terrorism through sea route intrusion. The flip side of it, however has been, new sense of synergy and collaboration among stakeholders.”

Drilling activity

Pointing to the spurt of surveying and drilling activity in the off-shore areas including deep seas, the commander also said offshore infrastructure and installations being high value national assets and vulnerable to inimical forces also require utmost vigil and surveillance.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2021 9:14:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/vigil-along-eastern-coast-shored-up-says-ig/article6681497.ece

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