Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has called for a 24×7 vigil, co-ordination and pro-active approach from all agencies in the Maritime domain to thwart any potential threats posed by ‘non-state’ as well as ‘state-sponsored’ terrorism. He was addressing the Investiture Ceremony of Indian CoastGuard (ICG) in Chennai.
Raksha Mantri voiced the Government’s unwavering commitment to ensure that the people of the country feel safe and contribute towards nation-building.“The security at land is strongly linked to security at sea. Our country is facing significant challenges from ‘non-state’, as well as ‘state-sponsored’ terrorism. The attack of 26/11 happened through sea route only. It is the strong resolve of this government that we will not let such incidents to happen on our territory”, said Rajnath Singh.
Raksha Mantri also lauded ICG for playing a pivotal role in building the synergy and cohesion of efforts between all stakeholders responsible for ensuring safety and security in the Maritime zones. Describing it as vibrant, Rajnath Singh said ICG has been at the forefront in evolving regional co-operation and is steadily working with international maritime agencies for lasting maritime peace in the Indian Ocean region.
He expressed happiness that ICG has become a Maritime Force to reckon with and is responding to a multitude of challenges in the Maritime Sphere with professionalism and pride. Rajnath Singh acknowledged that ICG has made an impact in its Area of Responsibility due to its omnipresence and commitment for ensuring safer seas for mariners. “Each successful mission resonates the efficiency of the officers and men and highlights the effective response capabilities of this service”, he said.
Raksha Mantri added that apart from saving one precious life every second day at sea, Indian Coast Guard was actively involved in saving over 4,000 precious lives during recent flood disaster relief operation “Sahayata” in Coastal States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
He said ICG also proved its prowess and reach by undertaking major fire-fighting operation onboard Merchant Ship Daniela off Colombo, Motor Tanker Genessa off Kandla and Merchant Vessel Maersk Honam on the fringes of Indian Search and Rescue Region and thus carved a niche among International Maritime community.