New Delhi [India], May 27 (ANI): In a bid to enhance coastal security, the Centre is going to provide 3.5 lakh free-of-cost two-way communication transponders to fishermen which will help in tracking them and also promote their business.
"In a phase-wise manner, 3.5 lakh two-way communication transponders are going to be provided to the fishermen along the coastal areas. In the first phase, one lakh transponders would be fitted on boats which are less than 20-metre size. The project is going to be carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana," government officials told ANI here.
The transponders are going to be manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organisation which will be made in India and supported by new satellites to be launched for this purpose only by the space agency.
Government organisations including the fisheries departments of the states and Centre along with the National Security Council are coordinating for implementation of the project across the coastal areas.
The officials said the transponders not only will allow the monitoring agencies to know the location of fishing boats all the time when they are at sea but also allow them to contact agencies from the sea.
The transponders would also allow the agencies to send warnings to the fishermen about cyclones or other weather conditions. The fishermen would also be able to contact in distress situations and can be provided help at sea.
The pilot project of installing these transponders on sub-20 metre boats commenced with a pilot project in Tamil Nadu.
The office of National Maritime Security Coordinator Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar has been working with the state and central agencies to increase the ease of doing business for fishermen as the agencies would allow them to cart the photocopies of their identity cards like Aadhar as it is difficult to carry original documents.
The government of India appointed the first national Maritime Security Coordinator in November 2021 under the national security adviser to focus on maritime security with a special impetus on coastal security.
National security advisor Ajit Doval addressed the June 2000-2022 meeting of the multi-agency maritime security group which includes all the stakeholders dealing with the maritime zone.
"The fitment of the two-way communication transponders on the fishing vessels will help in regulating the activities at fishing, harbours, fish, landing centres, fish, landing points and development of a national fisheries application for a one-stop solution towards dissemination of information to fishing communities and regulation of benefits associated with various schemes for the fishing community, the officials said.
Installation of an automatic identification system in fishing vessels was made compulsory after the 2008 attacks in Mumbai where terrorists from Pakistan used a stolen boat to enter Indian waters and launched attacks on multiple targets. (ANI)