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Coastguard geared up for challenges post 26/11

Jan 30, 2010 12:32 PM IST India India

Chennai: The worst terror attack on Indian soil was executed through sea.

Post 26/11 coastal security has been a key focus area and the Indian Coastguard is gearing up for the challenge.

Coastguard personnel, ships and aircraft gave a display of the force's might in Chennai of their raising day on February 1.

Post 26/11 the coastal security force is eager to prove that it's bigger and better

"Post 26/11 definitely there has been a lot of importance to coastguard. There have been a lot of assets that have been added. We have been given 40 ships after 26/11 and 3,000 men," Coast Guard IG, Eastern Region, A Rajasekhar says.

But the truth is that most of the new 'assets' are still just on paper.

A total of 40 ships, 20 boats and 42 additional aircraft have been sanctioned for the force post 26/11. But till now, only five ships have been commissioned.

Recruitment of the 3,000 additional personnel is yet to be completed.

The force is guarding India's 7,000 kilometer long coastline with just 7,500 personnel

Top officers admit it will take another three years to build up the fleet.

"The process is on. In another two-three years we will have 40-50 ships and almost 60 aircraft joining the fleet," claims Rajasekhar.

Till then the white warriors have their work cut out. Thankfully, a coastal surveillance network is expected to start operation by next year and marine police stations in different states will also help plug gaps.

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