New Delhi, Oct.25 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K. Antony said here on Monday that Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) station at Tarapore in Maharashtra would be commissioned very soon.
Inaugurating the 29th Annual Coast Guard Commanders' Conference he said the CSN system will provide a big boost to our maritime domain awareness.
He also said that the ever increasing threat from the sea has necessitated strengthening of our coastal security mechanism.
"There is an urgent need to keep our vast Maritime Zones under effective round-the-year surveillance by utilising all the assets at our disposal," said Antony.
He also mentioned that our security concerns, particularly along the sea lanes and our long coastline have widened the mandate and also increased the responsibility of the Coast Guard.
Antony also said the establishment of 46 Chain of Static Sensors atop the light houses along our coast line needs to be speeded up. He said: " A lot more needs to be done compared to what has been achieved till now."
The Defence Minister said that the Government was committed to enhance the force levels in a phased manner in the near future. The current force level of the Coast Guard stands 91 surface platforms and 45 aircraft.
Recently, five stations have been commissioned at Karwar, Gandhinagar, Veraval, Hutbay and MurudJanjira to augment the presence of Coast Guard.
Antony also informed hat the District Headquarters No. 12 at Kavaratti and Regional Headquarters of the North-East, along with a co-located station at Kolkata are likely to be established next year.
Five Stations at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Minicoy in Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands, Mundra in Gujarat, Kolkata in West Bengal and Dahanu in Maharashtra are also likely to come up next year.
The remaining 9 Stations at Pipavav, Androth, Karaikkal, Krishnapatnam, Nizampatnam, Gopalpur, Frazergunj, Kamorta and Mayabunder are slated for commissioning soon.
He also said that as many as 42 Coast Guard Stations will be functioning all along the Coast by the end of the current Eleventh Plan.
"The timely establishment of these coastal stations will allow greater synergy and cooperation among the Coast Guard, State Government and other Central Government organizations to prevent anti-national activities," said Antony.
The Defence Minister also informed that the Government has sanctioned a total strength of 4026 personnel, which includes 596 officers, 2941 enrolled personnel and 489 civilian personnel.
Director General, Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, highlighted the progress made by the Coast Guard in acquisition of various ships and aircraft, development of infrastructure, induction of manpower and enhanced efforts for surveillance of the coast and the sea areas.
The three day Coast Guard Commanders' Conference will analyse operational capabilities, the deployment of forces and future challenges. (ANI)