New Delhi: India is strengthening its coastal security in view of the potential Chinese threat.

The union defence minister Ajay Bhatt gave the details of steps taken to augment the coastal securityis while giving a written reply to Dr. T Sumathy(A) Thamixhachi Thangapandian in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“The government has taken a number of measures to strengthen coastal, Offshore and maritime security. The Indian Navy, Coast Guard and State Marine Police along with other agencies such as Customs and Port Trusts patrol the Maritime Zone of India using surface and air assets to detect and check infiltration. Further, electronic surveillance of maritime zone is undertaken using radars, Automatic Identification System, open sources etc. Government has also set up Joint Operation Center, Information Management Centre and National Command, Control, Communications and Intelligent Network. Sagar Prahari Bal with Fast Intercepting Crafts and Immediate Support Vessels have been established for the security of Offshore Development Area. The Standard Operating Procedures for coordination among various agencies on coastal security issues have been formulated.  Besides this, Exercises with various security agencies are conducted regularly to assess the effectiveness of existing mechanisms. Towards engaging coastal and fishing communities, Community Interaction and Awareness Programmes are being regularly conducted by Indian Navy and Coast Guard.  Security of Atomic Power Plants at Kalpakkam and Kudankulam is entrusted to the Central Industrial Security Force (CSIF).  In addition units of Army, Air Defence (AAD) and Air Force are placed for Air defence at Kalpakkam and Kudankulam. “

The minister of state for defence said, “India’s relations with its neighbours stand on their own and are independent of the relations of those countries with third countries. The government has well articulated policy of ‘Neighborhood first’ with a focus on creating mutually beneficial, people oriented regional frameworks for stability and prosperity. Government carefully monitors any developments having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests, and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them. “