NEW DELHI.Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has emphasised on the modernisation of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) with the Definitive Action Program 2017 – 22, which envisages acquisition of 43 ships, 20 aircraft and other infrastructure.
The Defence Minister was chairing a Consultative Committee Meeting of Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Indian Coast Guard where she reviewed the operational preparedness, Infrastructure development and coastal security mechanism of the Coast Guard.
Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre, MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh along with senior officials of MoD were also present.
The Defence Minister and the delegation was briefed about the coastal security mechanism and preparedness of Coast Guard to tackle maritime emergencies. Coast Guard’s initiative of making fishermen the Eyes and Ears of Coast Guard was appreciated.
Defence Minister 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.
She 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 home states to spread awareness among the sea-faring community regarding utility of carrying emergency communication equipment which they tend to leave behind and face difficulty in communicating SOS messages in times of emergencies.
The Defence Minister declared that the next meeting of the Consultative Committee will be on Ordnance Depots.