New Delhi, Sep 27 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday said that all efforts are being made to secure the country's vast coastline with a network of Radars.
Addressing the 30th Annual Coast Guard Commanders' Conference here, Antony said that the project has been taken up on priority.
"An important project to tighten our coastal security is the establishment of 46 Chain of Static Sensors atop the lighthouses along our coastline. Once the Coastal Security Network System is in place, it will surely boost our real time Maritime Domain Awareness," said Antony.
"36 such radars will be installed in the mainland in the first phase that would be completed by 2012", he added, while later interacting with the media.
Pointing out that though the Coast Guard might be the youngest of the Forces under the Defence Ministry, Antony said that it is the fastest growing force.
"On the infrastructure front, the establishment of District Headquarters at Kavaratti and commissioning of three stations at Minicoy, Ratnagiri and Mundra has taken place since last year. The total number of Coast Guard stations now stands at 31," said Antony.
"There are plans to establish Regional Headquarters (North-East), along with a station at Kolkata. Three more stations at Dahanu, Androth and Krishnapatnam are planned to be established soon. On the aviation front, there is a need to establish more air stations and air enclaves on a priority basis," he added.
Antony later said 156 boats are being built at various shipyards, both public and private, while the Coast Guard will get 12 more Donier aircrafts soon.
The Defence Minister also assured that the manpower needs of the Coast Guard were also being simultaneously raised.
"Since 2009, our government has sanctioned more than 4,300 posts to further strengthen the Coast Guard. There has been a 27 percent increase in the recruitment of personnel in the last three years," said Antony.
"The Coast Guard too has taken steps to increase the intake of officers and personnel. It has also taken several other steps, such as increasing the number of selection centres, Short Service Appointment of CPL holders and women officer, and Fast Track Selection for Officers and Yantrikis," he added.
Calling upon the Coast Guard Commander to achieve synergy with other stakeholders in tackling piracy, Antony said: "The increasing incidences of piracy off Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands call for a heightened security consciousness. The Coast Guard in coordination with the Navy has aptly responded to such situations. However, there is a need to build upon and further strengthen the synergy between Navy, Coast Guard and all other organizations in charge of coastal security."
"The Cabinet Committee on Security will soon take a decision on finalizing a new policy on fighting piracy," he later said in reply to a query.
The Defence Minister also underlined the need for an effective mechanism to check environmental pollution in the seas.
"The proactive efforts and response of the Coast Guard in containing Oil Pollution and assistance in removal of the stranded ships from the shores have been appreciated. There is a need to put in place an effective mechanism to ensure maximum environmental protection by all the concerned Ministries, in coordination with the Coast Guard," said Antony.
Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Special Secretary RK Mathur and Director General Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra also attended the Conference. (ANI)