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High-level panel to monitor coastal security

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India's Konkan coast. A file photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Government has set up a high- level committee headed by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to strengthen the coastal security apparatus and regularly monitor progress in measures taken after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting Thursday called by Defence Minister A K Antony in South Block and attended by prominent government functionaries including National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh, apart from the Cabinet Secretary.

"The high-level committee that has been set up under the Cabinet Secretary will meet frequently to review the coastal security situation," a Defence Ministry spokesperson said here.

The meeting also discussed the progress made with regard to previous decision for fast track acquisition for Navy and Coast Guard, including fast-attack crafts, off-shore patrol vessels and surveillance aircraft and helicopters, he said.

"At the meeting, Antony asked the Navy and Coast Guard to optimally use their assets and force for coastal surveillance," the spokesperson added.

The meeting, which went on for over an hour, was attended by Coast Guard Director General Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Navy's deputy chief, representatives from Petroleum, Shipping Ministries and ministries with roles in sea-faring, and other maritime security agencies.

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