Kochi: Pointing out that maritime security was central to the overall global presence of the country, Defence Minister A K Antony on Sunday stressed the need for a 24x7 vigil, coordination and pro-active approach from all agencies in the maritime domain.
Speaking after handing over three President`s Tatrakshak medals and 17 Tatrakshak medals for gallantry and meritorius services to coast guard personnel, Antony said the Indian Coast Guard has a `pivotal` role to play in building synergy and cohesion of efforts between all stakeholders responsible for ensuring the safety and security of Indian waters.
Coastal security exercises and operations that involve all maritime stakeholders are being conducted regularly. These along with search and rescue operations, pollution response, and other activities show that the coast guard was responding to multiple challenges in the maritime sphere with professionalism and dedication, he said.
Antony also lauded the efforts of the coast guard on the Kerala coast and said they have ensured the safety and security of the fishermen and merchant mariners in an effective manner.
The recent commissioning of surface platforms, air units and operational bases has added to the fleet strength of the force.
He urged officers and men of the coast guard to respond to the fast-paced growth with dedication, profesisonalism and commitment.
Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command, Satish Soni and Director General Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anurag Thapliyal were among those present.