BHUBANESWAR: Odisha and West Bengal are all set to hold their first joint coastal security exercise, Sagar Kavach, soon. With support from National security agencies like Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG), the drill will make a realtime assessment of effectiveness of various State agencies which are mandated with keeping a watch on the coastline.
The senior officers of ICG held a meeting with Additional Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy here on Friday. The dates of the two-day exercise has been kept under wraps for obvious reasons.
Apart from Indian Navy and ICG, Customs, Central Industrial Police Force (CISF), Marine Police and Fisheries Departments will take part in Sagar Kavach under which simulated attacks and defence would be practised.
Sources said, two different units will be designated as Red Force and Blue Force. There will be several tasks including attempts to penetrate through simulated attacks while the other unit will try to thwart the bid.“Through such an exercise, the effectiveness and preparedness of the agencies could be evaluated when the de-briefing is conducted at the end of the drill,” sources said.
Personnel from Indian Navy, Coast Guard Paradip and Haldia, 18 marine police stations in Odisha and 12 police stations of West Bengal will take part in the exercise which is likely to be held next week.
For the first time, Customs and port officials, Fisheries Department officials are being included in the drill.
“The exercise is aimed at revaluating the existing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Agencies which participated in the meeting were briefed about the exercise settings and other SOPs. After the drill, we will review if there are any shortcomings,” West Bengal Coast Guard Commander MA Warsi said.
While such exercises are regular affairs, Sagar Kavach assumes significance in view of the increased terror threat from sea routes.