Post Mumbai, Indian Navy to study foreign practices for coastal security

June 10th, 2009 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the Indian Navy is taking tips from the French, the Australians and the Israelis to ramp up coastal security in the country without “infringing the rights of people”, a top official said.
With the attacks bringing to the fore the lacunae in the security of India’s 7,516-km shoreline and the overlap of multiple enforcement agencies for coastal security, the navy is all set to take a leaf out of the 200-year-old French coastal security system.

“For the last 200 years, France has a Prefect Maritime, which looks after the navy, coast guard and civil use of the sea. As coordination is required between the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the maritime police, we are studying the model,” a senior naval official told IANS here Wednesday, requesting anonymity.

Moreover, the Indian Navy is also impressed by its French counterpart’s move to establish coastal stations along its shoreline in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

Coast Guard director general Vice Admiral Anil Chopra recently visited France to study its maritime security apparatus.

“There are a large number of radar stations along the coast. We just want to learn how you handle the quantum of information and how the data is amalgamated with the data from other networks.

“We are interested in knowing how other information like the distance between these stations and how these stations are connected to hub filtering the data,” the official added.

The radars on the French coastline have linkages with lighthouses.

The Indian Navy will get an opportunity to study these issues when it undertakes the Varun exercise with the French Navy. A flotilla from the Indian Navy’s Western Command is currently deployed in the Atlantic for this exercise.

“We will take the opportunity to get information from the French on what model they have adopted to beef up their coastal security,” the official said.

Besides the French one, the Australian and Israeli models are also under consideration.

“We want to study the best of the practices followed everywhere. The Israelis have dealt with terrorists using water scooters and we are trying to get more information about the model,” the official added.

The Nov 26-29, 2008 attacks on Mumbai was mounted by 10 terrorists from Pakistan who entered the city via using the sea route. The mayhem, which claimed more than 170 lives, has put the focus on coastal security.

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