Mumbai: Fourteen years after the 26/11 attack, gaps remain in the country’s coastal security.
Bharat Electronics Limited, which is installing radar systems and establishing stations on India’s coast, has completed the first phase of the Coastal Security Network project and embarked on the second phase.
The network comprises a coastal radar chain, automatic identification system stations and electro-optical payload that are like cameras to keep watch. These systems are under the Indian Coast Guard.
Referring to the unmanned fishing trawler drifting to Harihareshwar in August, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, said it was like finding a needle in a haystack.
“In the monsoon months if you have a boat that is unmanned and adrift with no generator running on board, it is damaged to an extent that is barely above the water’s surface,” he explained. “The sea’s state is 4 or 5 metres above the minimum, the cloud cover is almost 90% and the ability of any surveillance device is severely degraded when that happens.”
He said he was not trying to justify what had happened, but “you must also understand how a surveillance system works."
“In this specific case, the boat landed at a place which was at the intersection of these radar sets and they were outside the coverage of the electro-optical payloads,” Vice Admiral Singh continued. “The Coast Guard said there are gaps in the stations created and they now have the second phase of the Coastal Security Network. Till that happens, there will be gaps.”
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