September 27, 2016
The bi-annual coastal security exercise, ‘Sagar Kavach’ will begin in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry from tomorrow.
According to sources, the two-day drill will see the involvement of all State and Central security agencies, including Coast Guard, Navy, Coastal Police, administrations of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the Fisheries Department, the Marine Enforcement Wing among others.
During the drill, the troops will be divided into two teams, one being marine forces who shall pose as attackers, and the other being security agencies, who have to identify, trace and catch hold of the former. Each security agency will intentionally operate in isolation during the drill and avoid exchanging inputs to prevent leakage of information.
Fishermen associations of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Intelligence Bureau, Customs, Chennai Port Trust, Director General of Light House and Light Ships will also participate in the exercie. The entire operation will be monitored from the Joint Operation Centre at the naval base in Andhra Pradesh.
A coast guard official said that the drill is held periodically to test the security preparedness along the coast after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008. “This also enables us to revalidate the standard operating procedures (SOP) by way of carrying them out during attacks, with a focus on protecting the vital installations located coast-to-coast,” the official added.
Commenting on the exercise, a police official said that police stations operating in the said areas will also be involved. “This will enhance our ability to identify suspicious persons and objects in the sea. It will also lead to higher coordination between maritime security agencies and the State,” the official said, adding that an operation of this nature will help the force understand its capabilities and the areas that need to be improved. “Officials will be concentrating on all the landing points along the coast,” the official stated.