High-level committee to review coastal security

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New Delhi, June 18 (ANI): The Government on Thursday set up a high level committee under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to review the measures taken for coastal security at regular intervals and monitor developments taken after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The other members of the committee will include the Chief of Naval Staff, Secretaries of all concerned Ministries such as Defence, Home, Petroleum and Chief Secretaries of Coastal States.

The decision to set up the committee was taken by Defence Minister AK Antony here today. National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekhar, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral RP Suthan, Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Secretary Petroleum RS Pandey and senior officials attended the meeting.

"Antony asked the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard to optimally use their assets and forces to enhance coastal surveillance," a Defence Ministry official said.

A number of measures have been taken by the Government to strengthen Coastal Security in the wake of the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai. These include setting up of a joint operation centre, allocation of additional manpower, exercises among Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal Police and improved network for sharing of information among various agencies.

The Defence Ministry has also approved dry leasing of twin-engine helicopters and aircraft for the Coast Guard to add teeth for Air Surveillance.

In addition more than 80 fast interceptor craft are being procured by the Indian Navy to supplement the efforts of other agencies including the Coast Guard.

The meeting reviewed the progress made in the acquisition of systems and platforms already approved by the Government in the aftermath of the Mumbai attack.

"Antony emphasised the role of both Indian Navy and Coast Guard in providing security to vulnerable ports as the local CISF force may not have complete wherewithal for maritime security," the officer added. (ANI)

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