Today's Paper

Radar cover for entire coastline


Sandeep Dikshit

Extra punch for Coast Guard

Nine more Coast Guard stations coming

Capability to include offensive operations

NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday cleared emergency purchases to add punch to the Coast Guard’s capability for surveillance and interception. A high-level meeting here, chaired by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, also approved nine more Coast Guard stations and radar coverage for the entire coastline. It identified vulnerable areas where additional ships and aircraft will be deployed.

Attended by Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Coast Guard Director-General Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and Director-General (Acquisitions) Sashi Kant Sharma, the meeting took decisions that are the first in a series of steps to strengthen and overhaul homeland security.

This was the second meeting on reorienting the Coast Guard’s capabilities from surveillance and search and rescue to include offensive operations.

The Coast Guard will send a team abroad to evaluate purchase possibilities.

It was asked to lease or hire ships from the global market in the quickest possible time. Approval was accorded for acquisition of cutting-edge equipment and interceptor boats on a fast-track basis.

The proposal to set up additional Coast Guard Stations will be sent for Cabinet approval at the earliest.

The government is already evolving an integrated national emergency response system and looking at other measures including unmanned aerial vehicles for urban applications, a new generation of tactical weapons for the special forces such as handguns, communication systems and individual GPS systems.

Panel to be set up

PTI reports:

With the country’s 7,500-km coastline vulnerable to terrorist attacks, the Home Ministry has decided to set up a committee to go into the difficulties on account of fishing harbours within the port limits.

The panel will examine what could be done, taking into account fishermen’s livelihood issues, a Ministry official said.