New coast guard station in Odisha

Berhampur: A new Coast Guard station has come up in Odisha coast at Gopalpur in Ganjam district.

The new centre was inaugurated by Odisha Chief secretary B K Patnaik yesterday in presence of the commander Coast Guard (North East) K C Pande and chief of Army Air Defence College, Gopalpur Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Saxena.

"The new CG station will play a major role on coastal security as different maritime activities are picking up in Odisha coast with several port projects, a petro-chemical coming up near Paradip", Patnaik said.

"The station will act as a hub for coastal security operations in the sea off Gopalpur and the South Odisha coast," said Pande.

"The station will coordinate with the different departments of the state government like fisheries, forest, police and district administration, Gopalpur port authorities and local fisher folk to augment the coastal surveillance security network in Odisha coast," he added.

Establishment of the CG station at Gopalpur is also significant as the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles come for mass nesting near the river Rushikulya mouth every year, construction of Gopalpur port and proposal for setting up of some new ports at Bahuda. Moreover, Gopalpur-on-Sea is a major tourist resort town in the state.

Government has increased the coastal security after the Mumbai terror attack.

The new CG station at Gopalpur is assigned with the responsibility for coordination of various maritime operations like anti-poaching, search and rescue, pollution response (to give protection to the endangered Olive Ridley turtles) and coastal security and anti-piracy, he added.

The new station, now functioning at a rented house at Chhatrapur, will be shifted to Gopalpur in another two to three years, CO, CG Gopalpur, commandant R Rajmakal said.