The Coastal Security Group of the Tamil Nadu police will embark on a Marine Police Sailing Expedition from Chennai to Mandapamand back, covering about 500 nautical miles, the longest exercise ever by a police force. The objective of the sailing expedition commencing here on Saturday will be to have a safe and secure sea on in the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu.
According to Additional Director-General of Police, CSG, the sailing expedition was being organised in association with the Royal Madras YachtClub in 3 French-built J80 sail boats that are 8 meters in length. Twenty one 21personnel of the group would be participating in the event. “This is the longest sailing expedition by any police force,” he said.
The sailing crew would visit fishing hamlets along the coastal districts and create awareness among the fishermen and their family members who were considered as the‘eyes and ears’ of the coastal security mechanism. The villagers would be encouraged to call the CSGtoll-free number 1093 toshare any form of information on suspicious activity in and around the coastline.
The sailing expedition comes days after National Security Adviser AjitDovalspoke at a meeting of the Multi-Agency Maritime Security Group (MAMSG) in New Delhi to discuss important issues impacting maritime security. The meeting was chaired by the National Maritime Security Coordinator Vice Admiral (Retd) G. AshokKumar, who took charge as the country's first NMSCearly this year.
The MAMSG has members from key Central ministries, agencies, and security forces dealing with maritime affairs and State Maritime Security Coordinators, representing 13 coastal States and Union Territories.
According to police sources, Mr. Dovalemphasised on the salience of maritime security in an increasingly complex and challenging landscape. The NSA said there was a definite need for seamless coordination among coastal security agencies.
Securing maritime interests
It was explained in the meeting that with over three lakhfishing vessels, the marine fisheries sector was a major contributor to the economy and livelihood of the fishing community. As India's economy grows, so would its dependence on sea-borne trade and maritime resources. Securing maritime interests from a range of threats and challenges necessitated a coordinated approach. Maritime security had rightfully gained prominence in India's security discourse as well as international outreach.
A number of key policy issues were taken up, includingmapping of existing orders and policies on maritime security to identify gaps, review of standard operating procedures for maritime contingencies and security of ports and coastal infrastructure. Creation of a national maritime database, capacity building of coastal States and Union Territories and promotion of blue economy were also discussed in were taken upthe backdrop ofgrowing security concerns, police sources added.