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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Coast Guard lacks teeth to safeguard India's coast: CAG!


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Beachgoers walk on the shoreline near the grounded ship MT Pavit close to Juhu Chowpatty beach in Mumbai - AFP file photo
Beachgoers walk on the shoreline near the grounded ship MT Pavit close to Juhu Chowpatty beach in Mumbai - AFP file photo.

In a shocking revelation, the government auditors Friday brought out the wide gaps in India's coastal security, saying that the Coast Guard (CG) lacks adequate force levels to keep a vigil on India's porous 7,500-km-long coastline.

The auditor's shocker comes only days after an abandoned Panama-flagged cargo vessel MT Pavit ran aground on a Mumbai beach. The unmanned ship had remained unnoticed for a month as it drifted through the Arabian Sea into the Indian waters.

The Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report submitted to parliament says that CG was deficient in its force levels by 37 per cent in December 2010 - full two years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes - compared to what was envisaged as the force level 10 years ago in 2000.

The CG has only 79 surface platforms - such as offshore patrol vessels and interceptor craft - compared to 122 envisaged for the maritime security force by the end of 2000, as per the figures given by the CAG report.

Its air wing's force level is still worse than its patrol vessel fleet. The shortage is as high as 52 per cent than the 15-year fleet plans between 1985 and 2000, the report said.


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