The Coast Guard has increased patrolling in the Bay of Bengal and reviewed the security mechanism in view of the prevailing tension along India’s western border, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.
The review was done at a two-day District Commanders and Works Conference, which concluded here on Thursday.
The conference, organised by the Coast Guard’s regional headquarters (North-East), took stock of the coastal security mechanism of Bengal and Odisha, with the Regional Commander, Inspector General K.R. Nautiyal, directing the district commanders to be “fully alert to respond to any situation that may arise because of the ongoing crisis along India’s western border”.
The conference decided to increase patrolling through surface and air assets to sanitise the coastline along the two states.
Commanders of Coast Guard district headquarters at Haldia and Paradip, and the Commanding Officers of Coast Guard Air Squadrons at Gopalpur, Frazerganj, Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata attended the conference that deliberated on issues relating to operations, fleet maintenance, personnel and administration.
The spokesperson said the headquarters maintained 1,256 ship days in the last one year, which amounted to patrolling by at least three ships per day.
“The air squadrons at Kolkata and Bhubaneswar clocked 3,243 flying hours for coastal surveillance, which means more than nine hours per day. More than 250 precious lives were saved at sea from stranded fishing boats in the first-ever Indo-Bangla joint search and rescue mission in August 2016,” he said.
Two coastal security exercises with the state establishments and other agencies were also carried out over the past one year to keep the coastal security system fully operational.
“A total of 65 community interaction programmes were carried out in all fishing hamlets of Bengal and Odisha to sensitise fishermen about safety at sea and various laws governing them,” he added.