Post the 26/11 attacks, the Indian Coast Guard has carried out 26 operations in coordination with other maritime security agencies on basis of intelligence inputs to thwart any assault from the sea. But no one has been apprehended so far in the last 22 months. This despite the fact that these operations to nab 'rogue' boats and trawlers with terrorists were being carried out after receiving tip-offs from intelligence agencies, defence ministry sources told PTI.
During the same period, the Coast Guard along with other sea-faring agencies such as the Navy, customs, fisheries department and the marine police have carried out 28 exercises to expand their vigil to avoid an attack via sea, they added.
The force is using its aerial assets including the Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft, choppers and around 20 ships to keep an eye on the Indian territorial waters for suspicious elements at any given time, they added.
After the Mumbai terror attacks, the Cabinet Committee on Security had sanctioned 40 ships, 20 boats and 42 aircraft in February last year. For effective surveillance, the government has also sanctioned a Coast Guard plan to deploy radars, cameras and sensors atop all lighthouses in coastal areas to detect and identify ships close to shores in a two-phased project. In the first phase, 46 such stations will be established at a cost of Rs 350 crore by the end of 2011 and the inputs gathered by the network will be shared with all the agencies concerned on a real-time basis, the sources said. A plan has also been chalked out to establish another 56 such stations in the second phase of the project.
Recently, the force commissioned a Coast Guard station at Murud Janjira on September 30 to plug the gap between Goa and Mumbai, as earlier there was no such station along the important sea route between the two stations.