Visakhapatnam, Sept 24:
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma has said that the navy was prepared to face any threat from the sea. After inaugurating the Married Accommodation Project on Dolphin Hill, addressing the Eastern Naval Command officers on Thursday, Nirmal Verma said that the coastline was vulnerable, but adequate security measures were in place. “Of course we are all well equipped. We have a strong navy, a good coast guard and a fine set of local police. We are well equipped to meet any challenge that arises.”
He said, “We have a 7,500 kilometres coastline, so no doubt it will be vulnerable. But that vulnerable should be used in the right sense, that there is possibility of threat coming from here and therefore we have to take measures to ensure that threat is taken care of.”
Navy and Coast Guard warships have stepped up patrolling off India’s western and eastern coastline after ‘a suspicious ship’ was reportedly spotted by some fishermen in the Arabian Sea on July 30, he said.
In the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai by a trawler and rubber dinghies, exposing gaping holes in India’s coastal security, offshore surveillance, particularly along the west coast, has been stepped up.
Under the new maritime security plan, he said navy is the “designated authority” responsible for overall maritime security, with both coastal and offshore security under its control. One of the most important tasks of navy is to work towards improving the image of the country, he pointed out.
Admiral Verma, the 20th Chief of Indian Navy, is a specialist in communication and electronic warfare. His nearly four decades of experience spans various afloat and ashore appointments. Launching of INS Arihant, commissioning of the Air Station INS Parundu and of the new Air Squadrons INAS 311 and INAS 350 were among the major achievements. He also provided impetus to synergise the Coastal Security infrastructure and was responsible for timely completion of the Married Accommodation Project for officers and sailors.