'Security along backwater tourist spots need to be tightened'

Kochi: Security along the tourist resorts in the backwaters of Kerala need to be strengthened, a top Naval officer said on Friday.

"This is a new area we have gone through as part of the exercise," Commodore M R Ajay Kumar, Naval Officer-in-charge (Kerala) said, briefing reporters about the just concluded 'Triton-2' series of exercises along the Kerala coast.

The first exercise was held in October last year.

"We know about our strengths and it is equally important to know our weaknesses," Ajay Kumar, also Commanding Officer of INS Venduruthy, said adding the three-day exercise from April 19 had been 'successful'.

"What we wanted to achieve, we have achieved," he said.

Two such exercises will be held every year -- along the Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts. The Lakshadweep exercise would be held in July, he said.

Coastguard ship Lakshmibai, INS Bagaram, INS Sutlej, Navy's Dornier and Chetak aircraft and UAVs were among those which participated in the exercise in which at least 1000 personnel drawn from Indian Navy, Coastguard, Fisheries department, Police Customs, Port and various state agencies took part.

Coastguard Deputy Inspector General, B K Loshali said various locations, including Secretariat, Doordarshan Kendra, LNG Terminal, NTPC Kayamkulam were selected to test the level of their security.

Declining to go into the specifics of the exercises, Commander Ajay Kumar said "We will interact with concerned agencies. Overall objectives of the exercise have been met".

"The objectives of the exercise will keep changing as we go on. What we learn as weakness now, will be our objective in the next exercise," he said.