New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday reviewed the coastal security apparatus at a high-level meeting here and stressed on time-bound completion of all pending work in this direction.

The meeting was attended by National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi, Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma and representatives of state governments and fishery departments.

"There must be a time bound action plan to complete all pending decisions at the earliest and There has been coordination among the stakeholders towards coastal security," the Defence Minister said while assuring that the Navy and Coast Guard will complete their work on time.

"Actions required from other departments and coastal states needs to be monitored closely," he said, and asked the Cabinet Secretary to fix time-lines to monitor their performance.

The Defence Minister said Navy and Coast Guard have been significantly strengthened and there has been an unprecedented growth in their capabilities.

"The assets, infrastructure and manpower have grown and the two services are likely to almost double their capabilities by the end of 13th Plan (2022)," he said.

In the meeting, Antony said fishermen are "eyes and ears" of the coastal security and hence, they need to be an integral part of planning in this regard.

He appreciated the steps taken for installation of 46 coastal static radars including 36 in mainland and 10 in island territories, saying this would go a long way in identification and monitoring of maritime traffic.

Antony directed officials to complete the installation of radars in mainland by November 26 and in island territories by March next year. Antony especially laid stress on strengthening of the Department of Fisheries in the states and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the Centre, and requested the Cabinet Secretary to monitor this aspect.

The Defence Minister pointed out that phase II of coastal security initiatives will begin shortly, resulting in a robust and gap-free maritime domain awareness.

Representatives from the central ministries updated the minister about different actions taken by them.

(Agencies)

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