A consultative committee headed by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the operational preparedness of the Indian Coast Guard on Saturday November 17.
A Consultative committee meeting of Ministry of Defence headed by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the operational preparedness, Infrastructure development and coastal security mechanism of the coast guard on Saturday, November 17.
Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre, various MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Director General Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh along with senior officials of MoD were also present on the occasion.
The defence minister and her delegation were briefed about India’s coastal security mechanism and preparedness of coast guard to tackle maritime emergencies. Coast guard’s initiative of making fishermen its ‘Eyes and Ears’ was appreciated by the consultative committee.
Sitharaman reiterated that the ICG discharges a silent but invaluable service to the nation and lauded the efforts of all personnel of coast guard for its multiple successful search and rescue missions, humanitarian aid, assistance to fishermen and increased surveillance capability.
The defence minister also laid emphasis on modernization of the ICG. She pointed out that ‘Definitive Action Program 2017 – 22’ envisages acquisition of 43 ships, 20 aircraft and other infrastructure for the ICG.
Sitharaman appreciated the coast guard for successfully implementing minister’s directions on use of local language speaking personnel onboard the ships and aircraft to alert the fishermen during emergencies and rescue operations.
The defence minister sought the support of all members of the house and their influence in their home states to spread awareness among the sea-faring community regarding the importance of carrying emergency communication equipment. Fishermen tend to leave behind emergency communication equipment and hence face difficulty sending SOS messages in times of emergencies.
At the end of her speech, Sitharaman declared that the next meeting of the consultative committee will be on ordnance depots.