Sitharaman reviews operational preparedness of Indian Coastal Guard
New Delhi [India], Nov 17 (ANI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday reviewed the operational preparedness, infrastructure development and coastal security mechanism of the Coast Guard during Consultative Committee Meeting of Ministry of Defence on Indian Coast Guard. Minister of State for Defence Incumbent Subhash Bhamre, MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Director General Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh along with senior officials of Ministry of Defence also attended the meet. The Defence Minister and the delegation were briefed about the coastal security mechanism and preparedness of Coast Guard to tackle maritime emergencies. Coast Guard's initiative of making fishermen the eyes and ears of Coast Guard were appreciated in the meeting. Sitharaman reiterated that the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) discharges a silent but invaluable service to the nation and lauded the efforts of all personnel of Coast Guard for its multiple successful search and rescue missions, humanitarian aid, assistance to fishermen and increased surveillance capability. The Defence Minister also laid emphasis on modernisation of the ICG with the Definitive Action Program 2017 - 22 which envisages acquisition of 43 ships, 20 aircraft, and other infrastructure. She appreciated the Coast Guard for successfully implementing Minister's directions on use of local language speaking personnel onboard the ships and aircraft to alert the fishermen during emergencies and rescue operations. Sitharaman sought the support of all members of the house and their influence in their home states to spread awareness among the sea-faring community regarding the utility of carrying emergency communication equipment which they tend to leave behind and face difficulty in communicating SOS messages in times of emergencies.
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