India to Boost Coastal Security

By admin • May 20th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – Indian Defence Minister AK Antony has directed the Navy and the Defence Ministry to take immediate steps to ensure that proposals and assets approved by the Government for Coastal Security are put in place at the earliest.

Addressing the Naval Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi, Antony said the Government attaches highest priority to Coastal Security. “Coastal security is a very high priority for the Government and the nation.  The Navy plays a key role in this with heavy and overall responsibility.

The Government is equipping both the Navy and the Coast Guard for coastal surveillance and patrol, both in terms of assets and manpower.  Proposals towards this end have been approved.  It is now the responsibility of all of you to ensure that these are put in place at the earliest and used effectively and efficiently for coastal security”, he said.

A press release issued by the Defence Ministry on May 20th said the Government is fully committed to the modernisation of the Navy and funds will not be allowed to become a constraint in this direction. However, the onus of utilising allocated funds, optimally and judiciously, lies collectively on both the Navy and Defence Finance together.

It further stated that the Defence Ministry is trying its best to suitably fine tune the procurement process from time to time to bring in more transparency, efficiency and accountability. The Annual Review of the Defence Procurement Procedure is one such step in the direction.

Antony further noted that India needs to firmly secure their maritime frontiers, waterways and offshore resources on a permanent basis. He said there is a need to create necessary infrastructure for the security of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as also Lakshadweep.

“Our island territories form natural bulwarks that extend our strategic arms to our East and West and also function as the last outposts for the defence of our mainland.  Considering the importance of the eastern region, we need to create the necessary infrastructure in Andaman and Nicobar islands.  Similarly, Lakshadweep islands, which straddle the oil artery of the world, require our undivided attention”, he added.

Referring to the threat posed by piracy, especially off the coast of Somalia, Antony said it continues to be a major concern as piracy affects the security and economy of the entire region. He said his discussion with the Sultan and other top functionaries of Oman during the just concluded two-day visit has “given us ‘new hints’ which we must pursue, seriously.”

Turning to shipbuilding activities, Antony said there are 33 ships and submarines in various stages of construction at India’s shipyards. He called for adherence to timelines and quality standards to meet indigenisation requirements. “Our efforts to modernise the Navy through indigenisation will proceed at the desired pace, only if the shipyards embrace modern ideas and technology.  This will enable the shipyards to produce the best quality ships in a shorter time-frame and at competitive costs.  The Navy and the shipyards must interact closely with the other agencies to meet contractual timelines and adhere to the best quality standards”, he added.

source: india defence online

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