Maritime forces should be ever vigilant: Antony

Defence Minister A K Antony on Friday urged maritime forces to remain ever vigilant and not to lower their guard at any point of time as pirates have "come to our backyard".

Last Updated: Dec 24, 2010, 22:15 PM IST

Kavaratti (Lakshadweep): Defence Minister A K
Antony on Friday urged maritime forces to remain ever vigilant
and not to lower their guard at any point of time as pirates
have "come to our backyard".

"Seas can be neglected only at our peril," he said
declaring open Indian Coast Guard`s District Headquarters
(Lakshadweep & Minicoy) here. He also commissioned a Coast
Guard station at Minicoy.
He said as natural resources on land were getting rapidly
depleted and nations turning to seas for sustenance,
Coastguard had a crucial role to play in safeguarding
country`s marine wealth.

The Coastguard would be taking more precautionary measures
in all the islands in the country and "we are going to create
more assists", he said.

The government had accorded necessary sanction for the
establishment of coast guard enclave at Minicoy, he said.

All the coastguard operational platforms are equipped with
modern surveillance systems, sensors, weapons communications
and equipment to maintain round-the-clock surveillance.

Pointing that government had put in place measures to
augment coastal security, he said the Coastguard was in the
process of enhancing its surveillance capabilities to perform
its task effectively.
The establishment of the Coast Guard District Headquarters
at Kavaratti and a Coast Guard Station in the strategically
located island territory, would provide the much needed teeth
to the agency`s operations, and enhance the safety and
security of the Lakshadweep Islands, a Defence release said.

The establishment of the two units would also facilitate
greater synergy between the Coast Guard, Administration of the
Union Territory of Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands and other
agencies.

The District Headquarters at Kavaratti will exercise
operational and administrative control over the ships and
craft based at various stations in the islands.

In order to augment its resources in the islands, the Coast
Guard had plans to set up another station at Androth next year
and an air enclave at Minicoy by 2012. The required surface
and air platforms fitted with modern equipment, system and
sensors will be based at these locations for extensive
surveillance of this highly sensitive area, it said.

To enhance the surveillance capabilities and effective
maritime domain awareness, six radar stations of the Coastal
Surveillance Network (CSN) were also being established in the
island territory, the release said.

PTI