Prevent Pavit-like breaches: Antony to Coast Guard
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 22:15
New Delhi: In the backdrop of merchant vessel MT Pavit running aground off the Mumbai coast, Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday asked the Navy and the Coast Guard to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.

"The Minister asked the Navy chief and the DG Coast Guard to take all steps required to ensure that incidents like MT Pavit drifting into Indian waters do not recur," the Defence Ministry said in a release.

Reviewing coastal security measures, Antony directed the Navy and Coast Guard to "ensure with all available resources at their command to secure our coasts and keep the faith of the nation intact."

Sources said the Navy and the Coast Guard have submitted their reports on the issue to the Defence Minister and it also came up for discussion in the meeting.

In the meeting, the Defence Minister asked the Navy and the Coast Guard to prepare a blueprint for further strengthening the coastal security by identifying the gaps and taking measures to address them.

"A phase-II of coastal security plan is likely to be taken up shortly for approval of government. It was decided that the next meeting on the coastal security will be held early next month with all stakeholders," ministry officials said.

Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Secretary (Defence Production) Shekhar Aggarwal, Special Secretary R K Mathur, DG Coast Guard Vice- Admiral Anil Chopra and DG Acquisition Vivek Rae were present in the meeting.

The meeting also reviewed progress made in strengthening coastal security following the 26/11 attacks and recommendations made by the government in February 2009.

"It was informed that there has been an increase of 60-80 per cent in ship deployment and 100 per cent increase in aircraft deployment.

"A total of 165 coastal security operations, 54 exercises and 259 awareness campaigns for the fishermen community along the coast have so far been conducted from January 2009 till June this year," the release said.

The Minister asked the officials to speed up all pending acquisitions of platforms, upscaling of manpower, setting up of mechanism for close-knit coordination and operating procedures to provide foolproof security in coastal regions.


First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 22:15

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