After the Mumbai attacks in 2008, there has been a paradigm shift in the maritime security apparatus that increased emphasis on surveillance, intelligence gathering and information sharing amongst the various stakeholders to ensure an effective response to any emerging situation. In Feb 2009, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was additionally designated as the authority responsible for coastal security in territorial waters, including areas to be patrolled by the Coastal Police. The Coast Guard is also responsible for overall coordination between Central and State agencies in matters relating to Coastal Security.
Maintaining Guard Against all Odds
As part of Coastal Security mechanism, a surveillance system, called Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN), comprising of Chain of Static Sensors having Radars, Automatic Identification System (AIS), Day/Night Cameras and Met Sensors at 46 locations along the coastline and Islands has been established by the Indian Coast Guard. In order to achieve near gap-free surveillance of the entire coastline, 38 additional Radar Stations and 08 Mobile Surveillance Systems apart from VTMS connectivity at Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambat, are being installed under CSN phase-II.
The ICG has promulgated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for ensuring coordination and cohesion amongst various agencies involved in Coastal Security. Regular exercises are conducted to validate these SOPs. To revalidate the coastal security mechanism and bring awareness among the fishermen at sea, regular boarding operations are also being conducted to validate and check the credentials of the occupants of the vessels including their Identity Cards and Registration Documents. Based on intelligence inputs, Coastal Security operations are conducted by the ICG in coordination with other stake holders.
Community Interaction Programmes (CIPs) with the fishers and coastal populace are conducted periodically by the ICG to sensitize them on security and safety issues, that in turn enables them to act as ‘Eyes and Ears’ in the overall coastal security construct. In order to develop their capacity, the ICG has been imparting regular training to Marine Police personnel since 2006. The training which is conducted at Coast Guard District Headquarters corresponding to the Coastal States/ UTs comprises of three weeks of orientation module and one week of OJT. The ICG and Marine Police are working in 'Hub-and-Spoke' concept, the 'Hub' being the ICG Stations and the 'Spoke' being the Coastal Police Stations.
The ICG contributes towards development and implementation of an effective security mechanism to combat seaborne threats. The security matrix of the ICG encompasses a host of operations, and involves measures undertaken to address coastal security, offshore security, anti-terrorism, anti-piracy and port security. The ICG also provides support to the Indian Navy to ensure the maritime security of the country.
Secure Coast through Jointmanship
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