PANAJI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today called for seamless synergy between Indian Coast Guard and the Navy at all levels as he expressed concern over the safety of vital installations likeports and shipyards. He said the need of the hour warranted both services to work in close cooperation and understanding. Inaugurating the 34th Coast Guard Commanders Conference at the Coast Guard Headquarters here, Parrikar said that India's geographical disposition affords the country a unique leverage in the Indian Ocean. That must be pursued for national objectives, he said even as he added that, more importantly, it needs to be safeguarded diligently.
"He expressed satisfaction at the existing robust coastal security mechanism and the actionable intelligence gathering which had led to the apprehension of a Pakistani boat with narcotics. "He specifically lauded the efforts of Coast Guard in the maiden successful repatriation of 57 boats from Pakistan," said an official statement.
A Pakistani boat with over 200kg heroin was intercepted by the Coast Guard and the Navy in April this year. Expressing concern over security at vital installations like ports and shipyards, which are key for sustaining the growth of Indian economy, Parrikar reiterated that Coast Guard plays a vital role in ensuring their safety.
Parrikar promised all help from his ministry in addressing critical areas of the service related to its growth and operational efficiency, be it manpower or new acquisitions. He commended the valiant efforts put in by the men and officers of ICG as good Samaritans in providing prompt assistance to not only Indian fishermen but also to those of neighbouring countries.
Parrikar also appreciated the 'jointmanship' exhibited by the two services in search for the ill-fated ICG Dornier CG-791 that had gone off the radar on June 8, a few kilometres off the Chennai coast. The conference, held annually, sees all Regional Commanders put forth the roadmap for the future and discuss various policy and strategic issues with respect to operations, acquisitions, human resources and training, among others.