Post-Mumbai attack, coastal surveillance phase II approved

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Further expansion of a coastal surveillance system, which was put in place after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, was approved on Tuesday by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under which 38 more radar stations will be set up along India’s coastline.

Coastal security was enhanced after the 2008 attack and as part of Coastal Security mechanism, a surveillance system called Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) set up.

The system comprises a chain of static sensors with radars, Automatic Identification System (AIS), day-night cameras and Met sensors at 46 locations along the coastline and Islands.

As many as 38 additional radar stations and eight mobile surveillance systems, apart from Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) connectivity at the Gulf of Kutch and the Gulf of Khambat in Gujarat, will come up in the second phase, which will cost Rs 800 crore.

Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) is likely to be the lead integrator for this project under the ‘Buy Indian’ category.

“This will enhance coastal security and reduce gaps. The integration of the VTMS in the Gulfs of Kutch and Khambat will specially help in keeping an eye on vessels entering Indian waters from Pakistan’s side,” a source said.

The DAC, chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, also cleared a shore-based intermediate-level engine repair facility for Indian Navy’s MiG 29K fighter jets at the naval aircraft yard in Goa.

The Navy currently operates 45 Mig-29K carrier aircraft procured from Russia.

The source said the DAC also reviewed other ongoing projects and held discussions, but did not reveal details.

Ten Pakistani terrorists managed to enter Mumbai from the Arabian Sea late evening on November 26, 2008, and targeted 12-odd prime locations in south Mumbai spread over a five-km area and created a mayhem for the next 60 hours.

The targets were Colaba, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Leopold Cafe, Chabad House, Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Hotel Trident Oberoi, near Metro Cinema, Cama and Albless Hospital, behind BrihanMumbai Corporation headquarters, Mazagaon Docks area, and Girgaum Chowpatty.