Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday reviewed the progress on various steps taken to enhance the coastal security of the country.
Antony directed that the first phase of the Coastal Radar Network, on both the west and east coast should be completed in the next two months and that he would himself visit some locations very soon.
The Coastal Radar Network is an important component of the coastal security mechanism which will ensure monitoring and identification of maritime traffic.
The Minister emphasised that all the stakeholders should work with unified purpose and ensure that there are no gaps in the Coastal Security framework. He further directed that time bound actions should be taken for ensuring a full proof coastal security system.
He said the government is fully committed to modernise Navy and Coast Guard as well as assist State Governments to undertake any challenges to coastal security. He also urged the state governments to be equal partners in this important National Security Issue.
It is pertinent to point out that the capacities of the Navy and Coast Guard are being increased progressively to meet the growing security requirements, Antony said.
Antony showed desire to have another meeting on Coastal Security immediately after the ensuing Parliament Session with representatives of other Central government ministries and agencies who are part of the Coastal Security mechanism.
He asserted that there is already a high level Committee viz. National Committee on Strengthening of Maritime and Coastal Security against threats from the sea, under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary and which has Chief Secretaries of coastal states as members along with others to ensure a better coordination in the area of coastal security.
The delivery time schedules of supply of Fast Interceptor Crafts, implementation of National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network and Vessels and Air Traffic Management System on the east coast was also reviewed in the meeting.
The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma; Secretary, Department of Defence Production Shekhar Agarwal; Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan and Senior officers of Ministry of Defence, Navy and Coast Guard attended the meeting.