Wednesday, January 8, 2014

TN coastline safer now than earlier: CG Commander


Post-Mumbai attacks, we have augmented force level along the coastline and we are safer than earlier, Inspector General S. P. Sharma, Commander, Coast Guard Region (East), has said.

Interacting with reporters after announcing various awareness programmes being organised in connection with Indian Coast Guard’s Raising Day (Feb. 1) celebrations here on Jan. 6, he added: “Earlier, we used to have just 23 ships to cover the entire East Coast area of jurisdiction falling under CG Eastern Region. However, after bifurcation, our jurisdictional area has been reduced to coastline of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pudhucherry.

IG Sharma stated: “Though it was 23 ships for the entire area then, now I have 30 ships only to look after Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pudhucherry coastline. In other words, it is augmentation of force level in the region. The numbers of ships have increased gradually; old ships have been decommissioned in a phased manner. With the change, new energy and enthusiasm have come in.”

Elaborating further about the increased level of security to mediamen, he pointed out: “Besides, we have established a chain of radars along the entire coastline which has almost become functional. This is the value addition which has been done by creating satellite connectivity for any line failure. Today we have 11 radars along the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh giving us 24 X 7 real-time coverage.

It may be noted here that the movement of US floating armoury MV Seaman Guard Ohio inside Indian territorial waters was picked up by one of such radars.

“Now we have enough equipment and technology to detect movement of vessels through these radars,” IG Sharma observed.

According to sources, in the second phase of expansion, Tamil Nadu coastlines are likely to get five radars and once they are installed and synchronized with the Regional Operating Centre (ROC), it would give real-time data for decision making in coastal security.

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