Urgent need to augment fleet of Coast Guard vessels: Parrikar
Stating that the country cannot afford to be complacent on its national security, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said there is an urgent need to augment the Coast Guard fleet to the sanctioned quota of 184 vessels.
Parrikar was speaking on Monday after commissioning four Coast Guard ships ‘ICG Amay’, ‘ICG Amog’, ‘C 413’ and ‘C 414’ at the Mormugao Harbour on Monday. Others present at the function included Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida, Director General India Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anuraj Thapliyal, DIG Coast Guard Goa region Manoj Baadkar and other Coast Guard officials.
Speaking further, Parrikar complimented the Coast Guard for introducing four boats, two fast patrol vessels and two interceptors. “In the last two years, I have witnessed the Coast Guard fleet grow from 30 to 35 per cent. The Coast Guard is the first protector of the 7516-km coastline from pirates and other perpetrators at sea,” stated Parrikar.
“Coast Guards will apply adequate capacity both in the sea and air. There is an urgent need to augment the Coast Guard fleet to the sanctioned quota of 184 vessels. It has 64 various types of planes and helicopters and this should be increased to over 100 to meet the challenges of today,” he added.
While complimenting the Coast Guard for their timely intervention in trapping the terrorists on New Year’s Eve, Parrikar said the country cannot afford to relax as far as national security is concerned.
“While everyone in Goa were probably enjoying the New Year’s Eve at Baga and Calangute, the Indian Coast Guard was busy protecting the nation against possible terror attack by intercepting a terrorist boat,” said Parrikar.
Director General of India Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anuraj Thapliyal said it was for the first time in the history of the Indian Coast Guard that four coast guard ships were commissioned together.
“Two new generations fast patrol vessels, ‘ICG Amey’ and ‘ICG Amog’, are fitted with sophisticated equipments and ‘C413’ and ‘C414’ are interceptor boats. The ships are designed to perform multiple assignments including silence and interdiction tasks towards maritime security besides search and rescue operations,” informed Thapliyal.
“India is a maritime nation and therefore our maritime interest are for wide ranges and Indian Coast Guard plays crucial and important role in protecting the coast, fishermen and tackling marine pollution,” added Thapliyal.