Porbandar (Gujarat) [India], July 5 (ANI): At a time when a number of attempts to smuggle narcotics on the west coast have come to light, the Indian Coast Guard carried out Operation Island Watch along the coast of Dwarka.
"The Indian Coast Guard carried out Operation 'Island Watch' along the Dwarka coast, Gujarat where hovercrafts carried out search of uninhabited islands in the vicinity. Coast Guard hovercrafts can carry out amphibious operations and chase anti-national elements in marshy and high sea areas at high speeds," Coast Guard officials told ANI.
There are more than 70 small islands along the Dwarka area of which some are uninhabited and can be used by anti-national elements to carry out anti-India activities.
Officials said the hovercrafts carry out beaching operations on such islands and coast guard personnel carry out searches of the area to clear the area of such activities.
In recent times, the Indian Coast Guard and other agencies have collaborated to thwart attempts to smuggle narcotics worth over Rs 2,000 crore along the west coast.
Indian Coast Guard chief Director General VS Pathania said, "We are taking possible steps to enhance vigilance along the Gujarat coastline. We have deployed our ships, surveillance vessels and hovercrafts to keep a close eye on the activities in the Gujarat area."
The Coast Guard has also deployed a new squadron of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv Mark III helicopters in Porbandar which includes armed heavy machine guns fitted by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The armed version helicopter can hit targets from 1,800 metres.
The aircraft also has the ability to switch roles from an offensive platform with a heavy machine gun to that of a benign one carrying a Medical Intensive Care Unit to facilitate the transfer of critically ill patients.
According to the Coast Guard, the choppers are going to boost the maritime surveillance capabilities of the force along the border with Pakistan. (ANI)