The governments of Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal will soon organise a joint security exercise named as ‘Sagar Kavach’ to further tighten the existing coastal security mechanism along the 630 km long coastline. This was informed by Odisha’s Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Asit Tripathy after attending a meeting here. “Sagar Kavach security exercise is a realistic drill to check the efficacy of the security parameters and preparedness of various security forces like the Indian Navy, Marine police force, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Forest Department, Fisheries and district administration,” Tripathy told reporters. Stating that Odisha for the first time will have a joint security drill along with West Bengal, Tripathy said, “We are going to organise a simulated terror attack named ‘red force’ at a random place along Odisha or West Bengal coast and check how effective our marine policing is. The exercise will be held over two days within a week,” he said. The participants in the drill will be personnel from the Indian Navy, Coast Guard at Paradip and Haldia, 18 marine police stations in Odisha and 12 police stations of West Bengal.
This apart, the teams of Customs and port officials, fisheries department officials will also take part in the drill. Earlier, the coastal security exercises were made by the Indian Navy and ICG. “The drill is to revaluate the existing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) mechanisms. All stakeholders who attended the meeting were made aware about exercise settings and other SOPs. The coast guard, and all the security forces, even the district administrations have been very helpful and proactive towards coastal security. After the drill, we will review if there are any loopholes,” West Bengal Coast Guard Commander MA Warsi said.