Coastal security stronger now, says govt

Coastal security stronger now, says govt

As India commemorated the sixth anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the government on Wednesday sought to emphasise that the maritime security along the entire coast is much stronger than before.

“Due to the coordinated efforts of all concerned, all the measures are now in place and overall maritime security is much stronger than before. The Indian Navy has been the lead agency in this regard and is assisted in this task by the Indian Coast Guard, Marine Police and other Central and state agencies,” the Ministry of Defence said in a press statement in Mumbai coinciding with the anniversary of the November 26-29, 2008, terrorist attacks.

At the apex level, the National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security,  headed by the Cabinet Secretary, coordinates all matters related to Maritime and Coastal Security. Joint operations centres (JOCs), set up by the Navy as command and control hubs for coastal security in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair are fully operational. These JOCs are manned 24×7 jointly by the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Marine Police.

Inter–agency coordination, between nearly 15 national and state agencies, has improved dramatically, only due to regular “exercises” conducted by the Navy in all the coastal states. Nationwide, over 100 such exercises have been conducted till date since 2008, and this has strengthened coastal security markedly.

In addition to continuous patrolling by the Navy and Coast Guard, modern technical measures have also been implemented for coastal surveillance, by way of a chain of 74 Automatic Identification System receivers, for gap-less cover along the entire coast.
This is complemented by a chain of overlapping 46 coastal radars in the coastal areas of our mainland and islands. A second phase of coastal radars is also being implemented to plug the small gaps in some places.

As part of the effort to enhance our Maritime Domain Awareness, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network (NC3I) last Sunday.

These inputs are fused and analysed at the Information Management and Analysis Centre  at Gurgaon, which disseminates this compiled Common Operating Picture for Coastal Security to all 51 nodes of the Navy and Coast Guard spread across the coast of India. This Nodal Hub for the coastal security of our country, which has been conceptualised by the Indian Navy, is a major step in the establishment of a coastal security shield along the coast, the press statement said.

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