Adding coastal security cannot be ensured by single agency alone: Antony

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Nedumbassery: Defence Minister A K Antony Saturday laid the foundation stone for establishing a Coast Guard Air Enclave here, from where its Dornier, Chetak and twin engine advanced helicopter Squadron will operate to strengthen coastal security.The vulnerability of our coast from inimical agencies has not only posed new challenges for coastal security but also is detrimental to the economic growth of our nation, Antony said.

The loopholes in our coastal security mechanism were highlighted during 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and has necessitated plugging these loopholes, he said, adding coastal security cannot be ensured by single agency alone.Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Director General of Indian Coast Guard, said this is the first coast guard air enclave to be established in Kerala state, in addition to the other two air enclaves at Goa and Porbander respectively.

The need to set up coast guard air enclave with a Dornier, Chetak and Squadron at Kochi was based on the security assessment post 26/11 towards strengthening maritime and coastal security along Kerala/Karnataka coast including Mahe and Lakshadweep islands, he said.The coast around south of Karnataka till Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu including Lakshadweep islands abounds with sea lanes of communication, vital installations that are vulnerable to anti-national elements, he said.

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