‘Maritime Agencies Told to Ensure Fishermen‚Äôs Safety’

Defence Minister A K Antony on Sunday said that international maritime organisations have been asked to take all precautions to ensure safety of Indian fishermen while merchant ships pass through the Indian coast.

“Due to safety-related issues while in international waters, many ships pass through the Indian coast. Since there are thousands of fishing vessels operating in this area, international agencies have been asked to  alert vessels. They have been informed that the region is piracy-free. Measures are on to exclude the region from the list of ‘high risk area’ for piracy,” he told reporters here.

As part of ensuring security, the coastal radar network is being set up across the Indian coast.

A total of 48 coastal radars have been set up in the first phase, and 38 would be set up in the second phase. Of the total, there are 34 in the mainland, six in the Lakshadweep  islands and four in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

To a query, Antony said India had entered into defence tie-ups with 48 countries, including those in the West Asia, ASEAN, Africa and Europe. These countries are keen to have close cooperation with India, he said.

On the recent mishaps, including the one onboard INS Sindhurakshak, the Defence Minister said “the incidents are being taken seriously. Measures are being taken and a court of inquiry has been ordered.”

On the recently-commissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Antony said, the aircraft carrier is being rechecked for critical systems.

Antony said an amount of `40 crore has been handed over to the state government for land acquisition for the second and third phase development of Brahmos project. Asked about the Navy’s proposal to set up berthing facility inside the Vizhinjam port, he said the proposal is under consideration.

Via: http://www.newindianexpress.com/

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