Ans: Consequent to the unfortunate events of 26/11, the coastal security has been reviewed at appropriate levels and the Cabinet Committee on Security in their meeting held in Feb 09 has approved certain proposals. The Indian Navy has been designated as the authority responsible for overall maritime security, which includes coastal security and offshore security. The Indian Navy, in this regard, will be assisted by Coast Guard, State Marine Police and other Central and State agencies for the coastal defence of the nation. The other initiatives to strengthen the coastal security are as follows:-
(i) Setting up of Joint Operation Centres (JOCs) at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair under the charge of the existing Naval C-in-Cs. In case of Port Blair, the JOC is under the charge of CINCAN. The JOCs are jointly manned and operated by the Navy and Coast Guard with inputs from diverse agencies such as Navy, Coast Guard and other Central and State Government agencies dealing with maritime aspects.
(ii) Formation of the Sagar Prahari Bal of the Navy comprising 80 Fast Interceptor Craft and 1000 personnel.
(iii) Regular conduct of Coastal Security exercises in all States in conjunction with the Coast Guard, State and Central Government agencies.
(iv) Enhancement of surface and air surveillance by Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships and aircraft along the coast and in all offshore development areas
(v) Conduct of awareness drives by the Navy and the Coast Guard to sensitize the fishing and coastal community and coastal/port authorities on issues related to security against threats from the sea.
(vi) Setting Up of Coastal Radar Chain and Coastal AIS chain in a time bound manner.
(vii) Progress on registering of all vessels and issue of identity cards to all fishermen/coastal population is well underway and is being closely monitored by the MHA.
(viii) National Command Control Communications and Intelligence (NC3I) Network is being set up as part of the maritime security measures post 26/11. As an interim measure, hotline connectivity between the IN, ICG and other government authorities involved in coastal security on the Western and Eastern Seaboard have been provisioned.