Coast Guard to have air enclave in Bhubaneswar

Berhampur: In an effort to strengthen surveillance along the Odisha coast, the Indian Coast Guard has decided to set up an air enclave at Bhubaneswar.

With many industrial and port projects coming up along the Odisha coast, the proposed air enclave will be immensely useful. "Better coastal surveillance is necessary to ensure safety of the projects," Commander, Coast Guard (North East) K C Pande said.

At present, air surveillance of the Odisha coast is being carried out by the air enclave in Kolkata and Chennai. At least one aircraft will be stationed at the air enclave being planned in the capital to conduct reconnaissance.

"We expected air surveillance to commence in the next two to three months," said Pande, who was in Ganjam district for the opening of the Coast Guard Station in Gopalpur.

The Coast Guard will strengthen its station in Paradip by adding two interceptor vessels to its fleet, he added.

"The ships will not only serve the 482-km-long coastline of Odisha, but also help in securing the east coast of the country," he said.

These ships can perform high-speed interception, close coast patrol, search and rescue and surveillance.

The coast guard's Paradip station already has two fast patrol vessels (FPV) and an off-shore patrol vessel (OPV).

Interceptor and high-speed patrolling vessel will be provided to the Gopalpur station once a jetty for the purpose is ready, he added.

The coast guard will also set up a chain of radar stations along the Odisha coastline.

At present, there are two radar stations in Paradip and Gopalpur, with another one likely to be set up in Dhamra.

"The radar can detect any suspicious elements entering the state through the sea route," Pande added.