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Coast Guard to be modernised: Antony
May 22, 2007 16:49 IST
The Centre is working out a schedule for replacing ageing platforms and systems of the Coast Guard in the forthcoming Annual Acquisition Plans, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the silver jubilee function of the Indian Coast Guard Aviation at Daman, Antony emphasised the need for faster modernisation of the Coast Guard in view of emerging seaward threat.
He, however, said that there would be no compromise on transparency while going through the process of modernisation.
The defence minister said that as India gains international stature and becomes an economic powerhouse, the Coast Guard's responsibilities are bound to increase.
Antony said that infiltration from land borders is becoming difficult for terrorists due to constant vigil by security forces and the changing environment in Jammu and Kashmir. As the pressure on terrorists on land increases, this threat is more likely than ever to come from the sea, he said.
In such a scenario, it is important for the Coast Guard to act in close cooperation with the other wings of our Armed Forces, the defence minister said adding, that 73 coastal state police stations will soon be set up for better vigil along the country's vast coastline.
The defence minister said that the government is aware of the need for acquiring new aircraft and surveillance equipment for the Coast Guard for it to perform its multifarious role effectively.
"Enforcement of maritime laws is another domain that is becoming increasingly important due to rising threat of terrorism from the sea. To meet such varied challenges, upgradation and modernisation of aviation assets is necessary," Antony said.