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No fresh threat to the coastline from terrorists

Intelligence agencies have received no specific input regarding increased threat from the sea routes to coastal cities in the country, Minister of state for Defense Dr Subhash Bhamre informed the Rajya sabha on March 5th. Various agencies of the central government monitor inputs about likelihood of such attacks since the carnage in Mumbai on September 26, 2008

The National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS) is a national-level forum and an apex review mechanism for maritime and coastal security, in which all concerned ministries and government agencies are represented.  The last meeting of NCSMCS was held on October 20th last year where such inputs were analysed.

Electronic surveillance mechanism has been augmented by provisioning of an electronic / radar chain called Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) comprising of Chain of Static Sensors having radar, Automatic Identification System (AIS), Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), day / night cameras, communication systems. 

These measures assist in developing Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through interconnecting 51 Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard stations, which has been established to develop a Common Operational Picture.  Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) radars in ports also facilitate surveillance of port areas.

The Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and State Marine Police, as a three tiered cover, along with other agencies such as Customs and Port Trusts, patrol the Maritime Zones of India, islands and adjacent seas, using ships and aircraft to detect and check infiltration through the sea-routes. 

Since ‘26/11’ the Government has taken a number of measures to strengthen coastal, offshore and maritime security.  Broadly, these measures include capacity augmentation of maritime security agencies for surveillance and patrol of the nation’s maritime zones; enhanced technical surveillance of coastal and offshore areas; establishment of mechanisms for inter-agency coordination; increased regulation of activities in the maritime zones; as also integration of the fishing and coastal communities. 

Besides, State-wise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for coordination among various agencies on coastal security issues have been formulated.  Coastal Security Exercises are being conducted regularly by Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard to assess the effectiveness of existing mechanisms and to address gaps.


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