New Delhi, Dec 2 : Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta today said the Coast Guards had intelligence inputs about the use of the sea route by terror outfits to attack India's financial capital, Mumbai.
The fishing trawler in which terrorists came to Mumbai was intercepted by the Coast Guard, but was let off by them as all papers were in place, Admiral Mehta told reporters at his annual press conference ahead of Navy Day.
He further said that for plugging holes in coastal security, there should be better synergy between the Navy and the Coast Guard.
Commenting on the issue of a trawler from Gujarat getting free access to Mumbai, Admiral Mehta said: "There are 1-1.5 lakh trawlers in India out of which 50,000 trawlers operate on the western coast alone and it is difficult to check each one of them."
He called for urgent improvement in the security of coastal areas, and said that while the present system was good, it needs upgrading.
"The issue of security is a serious matter. Systemic failure that was brought about by Mumbai terror attacks needs to be taken stock of and government would respond to it adequately," Admiral Mehta said.
The Navy Chief advocated for stronger armed forces for India and especially the Navy as 70 per cent of trade comes from sea.
He also admitted that lacunae existed in coastal security and intelligence sharing, and called for better coordination among the security and intelligence agencies.
Navy Day is observed on December 4 every year. On this day Indian Navy played a significant role in the bombing of Karachi harbour during the 1971 war. Owing to its success, the day of the attack has been celebrated as Navy Day since then. By Praful Kumar Singh