Porbandar: Three 'state-of-the-art' interceptor boats were on Saturday inducted into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) here, adding firepower to marine security and shoring up search and rescue operation capacity in the sea.
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel commissioned the boats, C-409, C-411 and C-412 - fitted with high-tech navigation and communication equipment - and said the government is maintaining a strict vigil along the coast.
Without naming Pakistan, she said coastal security is very crucial for Gujarat as it shares maritime boundary with the neighbouring country.
"A neighbouring country is close to Gujarat's coastal line. Therefore, coastal security is very crucial for Gujarat government, which has taken adequate steps to protect the country's interests," she said after commissioning the boats, fitted with high-tech navigation and communication equipment.
"Our jawans are serving the country with utmost dedication. The new boats will help them protect our coastal belt even better," she added.
The Chief Minister praised the Coast Guard and personnel from other security agencies for taking adequate precautionary measures to deal with cyclone `Nilofar', which hit the state's coast late last month.
With the commissioning of these vessels, the total strength of ICG's boats and ships has gone up to 102, a Coast Guard release said here.
"The 27.8-meter-long vessels with 106 tonnes displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots. They are fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment with medium range armament," it said.
The vessels will be used in high speed interception, close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations and surveillance besides search and rescue operations, ICG DIG S S Dasila said.
"The commissioning of these boats will strengthen the security umbrella over 1600-km-long coast of Gujarat. It will also help to augment patrolling and prevent illicit activities such as infiltration, smuggling and illegal fishing," it said.
Commander of North-West region of ICG, Inspector General Kuldip Singh Sheoran, along with Gujarat Ministers Babu Bokhiria and Rajni Patel witnessed the commissioning ceremony.