New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Setting itself on an expansionpath, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will double its size innext two years and will have increased three-folds by 2020 tobecome a force with 200 ships and 100 aircraft.
The force also said it has received the government''snod for purchasing 30 new helicopters which would be inductedin the next three to four years.
"From 2008-end level, we are already in the processof doubling by 2012 and by the end of the decade, we will betriple the size and we are looking at a Coast Guard of 200ships and boats and 100 aircraft," ICG Director General, ViceAdmiral Anil Chopra told a press conference here.
He said the force was in the process of buildingcapability by adding more manpower, ships, aircraft andinfrastructure for the future.
"We have got 160 ships under construction at variousIndian shipyards. We would reach the 200-ship force-leveleven after taking into account the decommissioning of existingfleet of aircraft and ships," he said.
Chopra said the number of Coast Guard stations wouldalso be doubled from the 2008-level.
"In 2010, we have added 10 ICG stations starting fromNorth Gujarat to down south in Lakshadweep. We would be having42 stations by the end of 2012 compared to 22 in 2008," headded.
The ICG chief said the stations would be hubs for thecoastal police stations under various state governments alongthe 7,500 km long coastline of the country.
Listing enhancement of manpower as one of the"constraints" in expansion, Chopra said due to limited numberof seats available in naval training institutions, the ICG isable to recruit only 150 officers and 700 sailors in a year.
The force has plans of doubling its manpower from thepresent 10,000 to 20,000 by the end of this decade. (More) PTIAJD