Coastal security network will enhance surveillance: Antony

Mumbai: Noting that guarding the Indian coastline was a "challenging" and "herculean" task, Defence Minister A K Antony today said implementation of the coastal surveillance network will enhance electronic surveillance capability of the Coast Guard.

Inaugurating the Maharashtra cluster of chain of static sensors aimed at improving real time surveillance cover along the coastline, he said the government decided to operationalise this chain in Maharashtra and Gujarat first as the western coastline is a "highly sensitive one".

The sensors are operational with radar stations fitted at Tarapur, Korlai, Tolkeshwar and Devgad as part of the chain of static sensors project by the Coast Guard.

"The fast changing coastal security scenario and the varied threat perceptions require proper coordination and alertness. The role of fishermen community acquires a singular importance. We must ensure maximum community participation to strengthen our coastal security," he said.

"The implementation of the coastal surveillance network is a major step in enhancing the electronic surveillance capability of the Coast Guard," he said.

All together 46 such stations are planned in the first phase. He also said that cyber security threat is becoming a major problem and the government is taking measures to counter it.

"Cyber threat is becoming a major problem. The armed forces have been mandated to deal with it," Antony said.

The Defence Minister also expressed concern over ceasefire violations along the border."Ceasefire violations have occurred and we are concerned over the violations".

Internal security and national security are the same, he said, adding that after the 26/11 terror attacks there has been a sea change in the attitude of government and security agencies and all are working together.

A few years ago that was not the case, he said. "We saw during Mumbai terror attacks that even a fishing boat can be used by anti-nationals to carry out dastardly strikes," Antony said.

"I would like to strike a note of caution. With the Coastal surveillance network project coming up along the coast, any interpretation that the coastline would be completely secure would be a misnomer, till such time complete physical verification takes place," he said.