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5 August, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Italian navy hands over two warships to Coast Guard

Deepak Acharjee

The Italian navy handed over two warships (corvettes) renamed Syed Nazrul Islam and Tajuddin Ahmed to the Bangladesh Coast Guard at a function in Italy yesterday. Senior secretary of the home ministry, Dr Mozammel Haque Khan, and director general of the Bangladesh Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, received the 25 to 30-year-old warships, sources said. Deputy director general of the Bangladesh Coast Guard, Commodore Yahya Syed, told The Independent that they have purchased the two ships from the Italian navy in order to strengthen the force’s capacity and secure the country’s maritime borders.
“The government has purchased four corvettes that were used by the Italian navy. Of the four, Italy has delivered two ships—renamed Syed Nazrul Islam and Tajuddin Ahmed—in the first phase,” he said.  “The other two ships—renamed Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman—would be handed over by the Italian navy in June 2017,” he added.
Yahya Syed said that a Bangladesh Coast Guard team stationed in Italy will sail for home with the ships on August 29 and reach Bangladesh on September 29.
Deputy director of the Bangladesh Coast Guard, Commander Masud, said the two new ships will patrol the exclusive economic zone located at sea off Chittagong to ensure maritime security.
Sources said all the ships have helicopter decks, anti-pollution equipment, mid-guns, fire-fighting equipment, and other equipment necessary to conduct offshore patrolling.
The paramilitary force is likely to operate the ships for the next 20 years. According to the sources, four more offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), including two harbour patrol boats, would be built by the Narayanganj shipyard to strengthen the force.
There are 112 ships and 90 safe defenders and metal shark boats with the Coast Guard.
The government has already created 518 posts of nine categories, including commander, Lt-Commander, and lieutenant, to strengthen the capacity of the force, and to stop piracy and smuggling through the country's waterways.
Currently, there are 10 stations—Supati, Dubeki, Kokilmoni, Puspokathi, Nidraskina, Ramgati, Swandip, Kutubdia, Moheshkhali and Teknaf—of the Coast Guard in the country.
Coast Guard Officials informed The Independent that they were preparing proposals for the purchase of two helicopters, two big vessels, and other important equipment for smooth running of operations by the force.

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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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