Antony says 'Govt. has strengthened maritime security post 26/11 Mumbai attacks'
Mumbai, Aug 25 (ANI): Asserting that guarding the Indian coastline is a challenging task, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Saturday said the government has put in place several measures to strengthen maritime and coastal security following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
Antony, who inaugurated the Maharashtra cluster of chain of static sensors aimed at proving real time surveillance cover along the coastline here today, said guarding the 7500 kilometres long Indian coastline is a challenging task.
"India has a long coastline, 7500 kilometres, and guarding it is a Herculean task. As you saw in the case of terror attacks in Mumbai, even a fishing boat can be used by anti-national elements to carry out a dastardly attack. If such is the case, guarding 7500 kilometres long coast is a very challenging task, but we have to face it successfully," said Antony.
"Since that fateful day, both Central Government and the state government have put in place several measures to strengthen maritime and coastal security and plug loopholes as far as possible. We have taken steps to increase the capacity of our security forces in terms of surveillance, patrolling, intelligence gathering and manpower," he added.
Antony, however, said a robust coastal security mechanism requires various arms of the government to work in perfect coordination.
"We now need to take initiatives to enact adequate legislations in accordance with the international conventions to give our security forces enough legal backup," he added.
The Defence Minister also congratulated the Coast Guard and Bharat Electrical Limited for undertaking a project that is the first of its kind in the country.
The chain of Static Sensors project being steered by the Indian Coast Guard has its origin in the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on reforming the National Security System, post-Kargil conflict.
After detailed Inter-Ministerial deliberations, it was decided that the Indian Coast Guard would implement this ambitious project. The project implementation on the mainland and the island territories is envisaged to be completed by September 2012 and March 2013 respectively.
There was an urgent need to strengthen our Coastal Security apparatus post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Accordingly, this project was progressed on a fast track. Considering the strategic nature of the project and with the aim of developing indigenous capabilities in the field, it was decided to implement it through M/s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
The contract for this turnkey project was concluded with M/s BEL, Bangalore in September 2011 at a cost of over Rs.600 Crores with an implementation schedule of 12 months and 18 months for the mainland and the island sites, respectively.
In order to define the project requirement for the Phase-I of the project, a detailed vulnerability gap analysis and feasibility study was undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard along with other stakeholders including Director General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Indian Navy, and concerned state Governments (ANI)
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