Maritime force always ready to tackle any situation in sea front: Top Coast Guard official

NewsDrum Desk
31 Jan 2023

Kolkata, Jan 31 (PTI) The Indian Coast Guard's North-East Region chief I S Chauhan on Tuesday asserted that the maritime force is always ready to tackle any situation in the sea front, be it a terrorist attempt to enter into the country or smuggling of goods and drugs.

Maintaining that the ICG has very good relations with its Bangladesh counterparts, he said constant patrolling and surveillance is carried out in the Indo-Bangla maritime boundary areas.

"Threats will always be there, but we are there to tackle it," the ICG (NE) region's inspector general said.

He was addressing the media on board ICG ship 'Vijaya' at Khidirpur Dock of Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port here on the eve of the 47th Raising Day of the Indian Coast Guard.

He said an ICG ship is always positioned at the India-Bangladesh maritime border on the Bay of Bengal, and two-three Dornier aircrafts patrol the area constantly to keep an eye on movement in the sea.

Chauhan said boarding operations have increased considerably with ICG fast patrol boats and offshore patrol vessels being put to use in boarding ships and boats for extensive search operations inside these to rule out any possibility of anyone trying to smuggle terror-linked elements or other people, goods and contraband through the sea routes.

"The fishing community also act as our eyes and ears and we have ensured synergy between them and the Coast Guard for the purpose," he said.

Asked whether any movement of Rohingya refugees through sea routes has been noticed by the NE region of ICG, Chauhan said boarding operations have not revealed any presence of them in the boats.

Chauhan said the ICG has three Dornier patrol aircrafts based in Kolkata, while there are four newly acquired Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) in Bhubaneswar.

There are plans to induct more aircraft in the ICG's North-East seaboard, he said.

The ICG NE region chief said apart from these, two offshore patrol vessels, one of which is ICGS Vijay, are stationed at Paradip, while at Haldia, four hovercrafts are positioned.

He said the ICG, which also conducts search and rescue operations in times of natural calamities like cyclones, has saved 596 lives in its North-East region in the last one year.

The ICG's NE region also coordinates with the forest department and other concerned establishments of the West Bengal government in preventing poaching of animals, birds and fish in the Sundarbans. PTI AMR RBT RBT

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