Panaji: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday commissioned four Indian Coast Guard (ICG) vessels at port town of Vasco in Goa, which will be mainly used for patrolling and interception. The ships include two fast patrol vessels namely ICG Amogh and ICG Amey and two interceptor boats Charlie 413 and Charlie 414 which will also be used for the purpose of research and rescue by the agency. On the occasion, Parrikar underlined the need for augmenting the Coast Guard fleet to the sanctioned levels, at the earliest. “I am sure as the number of years go by, the ICG will be having adequate capacity,” he said.
Stressing for increasing the use of indigenous technology in vessels and aircraft, Parrikar said, “Currently, we have 45 per cent indigenously built ships, which needs to be increased further…In defence you can’t rely on outside agency.” The commissioning of the ships is a part of the 20-vessel order given to the Cochin shipyard and M/S Larsen and Tubro. Entire order has to be delivered by September 2020.
In his speech, ICG Director General Anurag Thapliyal said the scope of coast guard activities and operational demands has increased. “Since 26/11 the process of strengthening coast guard has gathered momentum,” he said, adding that the agency has a fleet of 108 ships and 64 aircrafts which will be increased to 150 ships and 100 aircrafts by 2020. The coast guard mobile platforms (ships) are indigenously built making the ‘Make In India project’ a reality, he said. State chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.