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
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
"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.