The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will double its strength to about 150 surface vessels by 2018, with the government approving its 2012-17 five-year plan.
“the (maritime security) service is on course to double its assets and building capacity in the next four or five years.”
This year ICG has added a regional headquarters for the country’s northeastern coast and five new stations along the country’s 7,500-km coastline.
“By the end of the current financial year (March 2013), another six sanctioned stations are also likely to be established.
Continuing about the expansion and strengthening of the ICG, the ICG development plan had been approved and adequate funds provided.
ICG’s Coastal Surveillance Network project’s phase-I is nearing completion, after the radar chair was opened for Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala coast. “The system will indeed provide additional measures towards electronic surveillance.
To achieve near-gap-free electronic surveillance along our coasts and towards this end, the phase-II of the project will be started soon, after the completion of the first phase.
“Maritime security infrastructure, as it stands today, is quite robust and capable of handling various security challenges at sea.
Noting that the role of the fishing community is vital in strengthening of coastal security mechanism, the Defence minister said community interaction programme is to be given impetus in order to sensitize the fishermen on the prevailing security situation and to develop them to be the “eyes and ears” for intelligence gathering.
The Coast Guard aims to achieve a force level of 150 surface platforms by the year 2018.
Between the previous commanders conference and now, a Dornier patrol plane squadron was established at Porbandar, Gujarat on the eastern coast.
Establishing two air stations, five air enclaves, and four more Dornier squadrons have been prioritised.
It will also provide an opportunity to them to introspect the standards achieved in the wide spectrum of coast guard responsibilities.