Maintaining that maritime security was government's top priority, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today stressed the need for hastening delivery of ships to step up surveillance and secure the vast coastline. "I am aware of the challenges faced by the ship building industry in India. The achievement of quality standards despite ongoing modernisation programme of the (Cochin) shipyard is indeed commendable. I expect more focus on shortening the delivery period by the shipyards in future," he said after commissioning two indigenously-built fast-patrol vessels ICGS Achook and ICGS Agrim of the Indian Coast Guard.
Jaitley said security apparatus along the coastline is being further strengthened by the Indian Navy and Coastguard. "The establishment of the coastal surveillance network is in the final stages of implementation and would soon ensure effective protection of our vast shoreline," he said.
Jaitley said coastal security topped the priority of the government and induction of new vessels will help the Coastguard officials to effectively secure the coastline. "As always, coastal security remains one of our prime concerns and induction of new assets will definitely bolster the Indian Coastguard's efforts to provide a safe coastal line," he said.
Jaitley said protection of territorial waters ensures a nation's prosperity in which Coastguard has an important role to play. "Policing and protecting the maritime commons against the wide spectrum of threats is a high priority for all nations as it offers economic prosperity and security that comes from a safe and free maritime domain. Towards this, the Indian Coastguard has a very important role to play," he said.