New Delhi: The Indian Army’s Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB), created in the backdrop of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, is facing issues related to assets, infrastructure and manpower, among others, affecting its effectiveness. the report presented by the national auditor in Parliament on Tuesday.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by the Prime Minister, sanctioned the SPB in February 2009 as part of an overall plan to strengthen the country’s maritime security.
“The urgency of the CCS sanction was diluted by the delays in creating the enabling configuration (fast interceptor ships or FIC, manpower & infrastructure) within three years of implementing the SPB after the 26/11 attack to provide security to all coastal and offshore marine resources,” said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). ) submitted reports.
A month after the 26/11 attacks, the government came up with a comprehensive plan to plug holes in India’s vulnerable maritime security. He gave the Navy more powers—some of which were taken away from the Coast Guard—and made him the sole authority responsible for maritime security.
“With a delay of 13 to 61 months in which FICs were introduced in SPB, the infrastructure for basing FIC/SPB was not yet available (as of June 2021) under the sanction of CCS (in February 2009) and in some seaports planned for deployment of manpower in officers. ‘ level was poor,” said the CAG- in his last report.
The operational availability and operation of the FIC, since its introduction at the designated ports, was impeccable, the report added.
Maritime security remains a key focus for the government. In February 2022, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar (retd) took over as India’s first National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) amid growing threats to coastal security and changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) where China is trying to expand its reach. . causing
Kumar was handpicked for the challenging role. He reports directly to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. For sure, NMSC will have no power under him.
The CCS gave its nod to the creation of the post of NMSC in November 2021. The appointment came two decades after a Group of Ministers recommendation to strengthen the national security architecture in the backdrop of the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan. The 26/11 attacks in Mumbai gave new impetus to strengthening maritime security.