70 per cent boats in west bengal fitted with automated trackers: navy officer

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Home Ministry has mandated that all boats or vessels registered in the country will have to be fitted with an Automatic Identification System

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed a cost-effective transponder, Navy Officer in-Charge, Bengal area, Commodore Suprobho De told the media ahead of Navy Day celebrations to be held on Tuesday.

Around 70 per cent boats in West Bengal have been fitted with automated trackers, mandated for all vessels in the country to prevent terror attacks from the sea, Navy Officer in-Charge, Bengal area, Commodore Suprobho De said Monday. Union Home Ministry has mandated that all boats or vessels registered in the country will have to be fitted with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) for getting information on their location and details of the vessels, including ownership, De told news persons here.

“All vessels, including fishing boats, are required to be fitted with Automatic Identification System (AIS) so that we can identify a friend from a foe,” he said. Lessons learnt from the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, in which the terrorists had taken the sea route to reach the country’s shores, has led to mandating the fitting of AIS trackers in all boats, he added. Admitting that there were issues with regard to all fishermen not having biometric cards and of unregistered boats, apart from the cost involved in fitting the trackers, De said “these problems are being taken care of, we are definitely moving forward”.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed a cost-effective transponder, De told the media ahead of Navy Day celebrations to be held on Tuesday. Stating that all agencies were in sync, De said the fisheries department were responsible for checking the license, equipment and life saving material on the boats. The Indian Coast Guard has been asked to check and inform the state government of any shortcoming on these issues, he said.

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