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15 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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For a modern and efficient Coast Guard

For a modern and efficient Coast Guard

We have for long talked about increasing the capacity of Bangladesh Coast Guard and the plan of the government to arm the paramilitary force to full-fledged “two-dimensional force” by the year 2030 is a very welcome piece of news. For making the force strategically a superior one, the government will have to equip it with necessary naval infrastructure including ship, hovercraft, drone, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft. Moreover, the force also will need recruiting sufficient manpower and establishing other vital infrastructure such as offices.

According to a report of this newspaper, the government has already purchased four offshore patrol vessels, seven inshore patrol vessels, two fast patrol boats, one floating crane and two tag boats for conducting operations along the coast and is going to install the crucial long-range identification tracking/ and vessel-trafficking monitoring and information system. But for modernising the force, these are not enough.

After the settlement of maritime disputes with India and Myanmar, Bangladesh has now internationally accepted naval territory with its vast marine resources. Smuggling and trafficking of illegal arms also take place through the sea. For protecting the naval resources and stopping illegal activities, Bangladesh always needed a strong Coast Guard and that is why the present plan covering short-, mid- and long-term periods to be ended in 2013 ought to be pursued without fail.

The need to have an aviation wing of the Coast Guard is vital and the government wants to do this through its short term plan (2015-2020) and purchase 10 modern helicopters. The proposed three regional headquarters that would be built within this time would run this aviation wing of the Guard. The short-term plan also includes increasing the present manpower from 3,305 to 6,197.

The vital thing of the mid-term plan (2020-2025) is to enhance the capacity of the Coast Guard to such a level when it can help the navy during war or whenever necessary. This means at this stage the Coast Guard will have a supplementary role for the navy to protect the sovereignty of the country’s maritime territory.

If the plan is implemented in its third phase, the Coast Guard would become a two-dimensional force by the year 2030. It is expected that the Coast Guard would be able to always perform its role of preserving Bangladesh’s interests at sea, protecting fisheries, preventing illegal immigration through the sea, controlling pollution and piracy, preventing smuggling and trafficking of illegal arms, drugs and narcotics by effectively conducting surveillance over the country’s maritime areas. The necessity of having an efficient Coast Guard cannot be overemphasised.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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