Major expansion of coast guard underway

Chennai: Indian Coast Guard is in the process of activating four new stations and two air stations besides inducting over 12 ships and 10 aircraft in its force in the immediate future as part of a major expansion and modernisation drive, an official said today.

"The capacity building projects of the Coast Guard and Marine Police are under full swing. We are in the process of activating four new stations, two new air stations besides inducting more than 20 ships and 10 aircraft in the immediate future," Coast Guard Regional Commander (East) Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma said.

He was speaking at a function at the Chennai Port where three Coast Guard ships – ICGS Avvayar, ICGS Habbah Khatun and ICGS Rani Jindan were decommissioned with full military honours, a Coast Guard release said.

Sharma said a major expansion and modernisation plan of the coast guard was underway and it was important to "pay off these ships."

The coastal areas have rapidly grown as major economic hubs and industrialisation along with the development of sea ports and power generation including nuclear plants close to the coast "required utmost vigil and preparedness" on the part of the Coast Guard, the release quoted him as having said.