VISAKHAPATNAM: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is planning to set up an air-enclave here. The Coast Guard officials have already requested the state government and are holding discussions with other agencies to allocate 8 to 10-acre land for the purpose near the airport. Currently, the AP Coast Guard officials are using the air-enclave services at Bhubaneswar and Chennai, the nearest points.
Addressing newsmen, Deputy Inspector General Commander of Coast Guard District Anil Kumar Harbola said that the proposal of the air-enclave in the Coast Guard district 6 in Visakhapatnam will boost aerial surveillance in AP. He said that AP with its long coastline has only one ship- based aircraft and whenever required they deploy aircraft from the establishments of either at Bhubaneswar or Chennai for surveillance of the coast. “Eight to 10 acre of land and infrastructure is all that is needed and we are waiting for the AP government nod for the air-enclave. The proposal is in the pipeline and we hope it comes to fruition soon,” added Harbola.
The DIG also stated that strengthening the CG services in AP was the priority and the ICG would commission five more ships in the next two-three years. As of now as for the AP division is concerned there are three stations _ Nizampatnam, Krishnapatnam and Kakinada and at its headquarters Visakhapatnam main base. The AP CG has six ships and four small boats, while overall ICG has around 18 hovercraft, 64 aircraft and 100 surface platforms. He also said that the ICG was expected to be strengthened with more than 150 ships and 100 aircraft by 2020 and the manpower strength is also slated to reach 20,000 by that time.
On the eve of its Formation Day on February 1, the ICG will conduct an awareness session on its services, duties and career opportunities at Andhra University. He also said that they had conducted quiz and painting competitions to students of various schools whose winners will be awarded on that day. The day also includes various social programmes.