National MDA grid to be set up for coastal security: Navy

The government is all set to implement a NMDA for integrating and creating a common information grid for all sea-faring agencies for effective coastal security measures, drawing lessons from the Mumbai terror strikes.

Last Updated: Dec 03, 2010, 00:41 AM IST

New Delhi: The government is all set to
implement a National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) for
integrating and creating a common information grid for all
sea-faring agencies for effective coastal security measures,
drawing lessons from the Mumbai terror strikes.

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said in his annual press
conference here that once implemented, the NMDA would enable
effective sharing of maritime related information seamlessly
among all stakeholders for informed decisions and faster
response by security agencies.

"Towards creating a common information grid to synergise
the efforts of all stakeholders, an approach paper for
achieving comprehensive Maritime Domain Awareness was
formulated by the Navy in March this year," Verma said on the
coastal security measures put in place following the 26/11
Mumbai terror attacks.

"The concept of National MDA was approved by the National
Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security
(NCSMCS) in April 2010 and subsequently, the Navy has
formulated a Detailed Project Report for implementing it as a
national project," he said.

Noting that the Navy had maintained its timeline in the
complex, but extremely important endeavour, Verma said, "Once
implemented, integrated National MDA will enable effective
sharing of maritime related information among all
stakeholders, thereby leading to more informed decision making
and faster response by security agencies."

Asked about the proposal to have a Maritime Security
Advisor for the government on the lines of the National
Security Advisor, the Navy Chief said his force was pursuing
it "vigorously" at one point of time as the purpose was to
have somebody to bring the diverse agencies together to ensure
the nation had foolproof coastal security.

"But then unfortunately 26/11 happened. But today I would
say that the Navy is fulfilling the task of bringing everybody
together...if not as an executive agency, but as a
coordinating agency," he said.

"The tasks we envisaged for MSA is already happening. In
due course of time, we need to give it a different structure
and we could look at that," he said.

Pointing out that coastal security was a key area in
country`s overall maritime security architecture, Verma said
one of the most significant achievements of last year was the
integration of all maritime stakeholders, including the
several state and Central agencies into the coastal security
matrix.

"As a result, there is today far better coordination,
synergy and understanding among all agencies. Intelligence and
information sharing has undergone a transformational change.
Real time information flow among all stakeholders has resulted
in more effective and rapid response by the seagoing agencies
to a developing situation," he added.

-PTI