Friday, August 5, 2011

"Coast Guard Limited In Capability To Provide Security, Deficient In Assets, Infrastructure" : CAG

"The Coast Guard is limited in its capabilities to effectively discharge its duties in the entire EEZ waters (upto 200 NM). This Report has already discussed at length the deficiencies in ICG assets and infrastructure, shortages in manpower and restricted operational effectiveness on account of gaps in role equipment. Force levels which ought to have been in place by the year 2000 have not been achieved even by 2010, by which time the security threats have increased manifold."

Findings of the CAG report :

(a) Insufficient / inadequate assets: Number of assets and ICG stations were not sufficient for covering the entire coastline of the Gujarat State. In fact, dedicated assets at ICG stations viz. office building, computers, telephone lines, ambulance, lay apart store etc. for Joint Coastal patrolling staff were not available.

b) Night patrol: The night patrolling capabilities of the Interceptor Crafts (ICs) were limited in view of non-availability of dedicated and navigational equipments with them. Non-availability of night vision binoculars/goggles on-board also affected their efficacy for dark hour patrol.

(c) Navigational and communication equipment: ICG lacked vital equipments such as hand held Global Positioning System (GPS3), Night Vision binoculars, Search and Rescue Transponder (SART4), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB5) etc.

(d) Absence of Intelligence inputs: Around 35,000 boats plied from Gujarat coast daily. In absence of credible intelligence it was difficult to trace the culprits. Besides, more than 5,000 Dhows6 generally operate from Gujarat and new crafts are built / added every year. The crafts carry out traditional trade with Gulf and African countries. Although, the Port authorities had started to give the information on the movementdhows but it was needed on a regular basis so that these dhows could be monitored.

Also, lack of secrecy and element of surprise in conducting operations due to frequent changes in deployment of police and customs personnel coupled with unsuitable arms for police and customs personnel also imposed limitation on the operations. Insufficient/ inadequate assets coupled with limitations of interceptor crafts and lack of vital navigational and communication equipment with ICG adversely impacted the operations of Coast Guard in Gujarat.

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