Coast Guard to raise new base in Kolkata

The Coast Guard will have a new base in Kolkata to secure the eastern coastline of India, the coastal security chief said Thursday.

Last Updated: May 06, 2010, 23:11 PM IST

New Delhi: The Coast Guard will have a new base in Kolkata to secure the eastern coastline of India, the coastal security chief said Thursday.

The Kolkata-based office, to be called the Regional Headquarters-North East, will be the fifth regional office of the coastal security force, Director General Vice Admiral Anil Chopra said.

"The proposal is under the consideration of the government," Chopra said on the concluding day of the two-day Coast Guard Operational Commanders conference in the capital.

The coastal security chief said the Coast Guard has also proposed to set up additional stations at appropriate locations all along India`s 7,500-km coastline.

Chopra underlined the need for the force to continue its "proactive operational philosophy" in the wake of the prevailing maritime security threat, particularly after the Mumbai attack in which 10 Pakistani terrorists slaughtered 166 people after sailing into India from Karachi.

The force has four regional headquarters in Gandhinagar (North West), Mumbai (West), Chennai (East) and Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), besides the national headquarters in New Delhi.

The two-day conference also took stock of the changing maritime scenario and the operational tempo post the Mumbai attack to optimise the Coast Guard operations.

The vice admiral highlighted the progress made by the coastal security force with respect to ship acquisition, induction of manpower and development of infrastructure.

"An Offshore Patrol Vessel and two Interceptor Boats were recently commissioned to augment the surface surveillance capabilities of the Coast Guard," he said.

Induction of additional Dornier and Chetak aircraft, Medium Range Maritime Surveillance aircraft, and single- and twin- engine helicopters, as well as upgrading of the existing fleet of Dornier, by incorporating state-of-the-art sensors and equipment, are also in the pipeline, he added.

-IANS