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Satellite to monitor vessel movements

December 31, 2008 03:04 IST
Last Updated: December 31, 2008 03:11 IST


In a response to the Mumbai terror attacks, the Union shipping ministry is planning to develop a low-cost satellite to monitor ships and vessels operating in the Indian waters. The ministry has initiated talks with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to develop the satellite. 

In his presidential speech at a workshop on maritime security organised by the Director General of Shipping and Indian Port Associations in Chennai on Tuesday, shipping secretary A P V N Sarma said the Director General of Shipping was in talks with Isro to create the satellite that would watch vessel movements, especially of small fishing vessels, in the Indian waters.

 The ministry is also planning to create a commando force exclusively for ports, which would respond to any maritime threats, said Sarma. 

He said a major concern at this juncture were the fishing harbours located near ports. "It is essential to separate them," he said while seeking the state governments' cooperation in shifting fishing activities beyond the port limits. He noted that the ministry had formed a group to look into the issue. 

In his inaugural address, Deputy National Security Advisor Shekar Dutt said the government would coordinate with international and regional maritime initiatives to finalise a plan for infrastructure development that would address the maritime and commercial security concerns.

Dutt added maritime registration should be made mandatory, as is the case with motor vehicles on land, and the registration data linked nationally.



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