New Coast Guard station at Pipavav
In its fourth year of operations in Gujarat, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has set up a new station at Pipavav but the official commissioning of the station will take place in a few months.
The ICG celebrates its raising day on February 1.
The new station is based at Pipavav coast in Amreli district that has the Pipavav port, which is operated by a private player.
The ICG already has six stations in Gujarat — Jakhau, Vadinar, Okha, Porbandar, Veraval and Mundra. The last two were commissioned in 2011.
Commandant S K Sarotra, who is also the ICG's chief public relations officer in the region, said, "The station has jurisdiction in Amreli and Bhavnagar talukas. It will have an office for the ICG staff and residences for officers, the construction of which is underway."
One officer and nine ICG personnel have been deployed at the new station. After its commissioning, more officers would be deployed.
The state government has allotted 22 acres of land at Pipavav to the Indian Coast Guard for this station that will have two interceptor crafts.
With the increase in international trade and movements at ports in Gujarat, the threat to the state's 1,600-km-long coastline has also increased.
The ICG had also started the automatic identification system (AIS) to install transponders in Indian fishing boats to identify them and keep a tab. The project is near completion where more than 30,000 boats have been fitted with the transponders.
In another programme, called Distress Alarm System (DATS), alarms have been fixed in Indian fishing boats to be used during emergencies like being attacked by pirates. In such situations, the fishermen have to just press the alarm so that the nearest ICG station receives a message for help. Alarms have been fixed in 80% of the boats.