Kolkata: Indian Coast Guard Station (ICGS) Frazerganj, the 42nd CG station was today commissioned to serve as a new Forward Operating Base (FOB) in South 24-Parganas district of West Bengal, which will serve as a hub for coastal security operations in the sea areas off Sunderban.

The FOB was commissioned by Shri Arunava Dutt, Financial Advisor (Defence Services). Others present included Inspector General KC Pande, Commander Coast Guard Region (NE), officials from the West Bengal State and District Administration and senior officials from Navy and Air Force in the region.

Commandant Rajendra Swaroop has been appointed the first Commanding Officer of ICGS Frazerganj.Recently acquired ICG hovercrafts will operate from the FOB, which is about 50 nautical miles from Haldia, the launching base for all the air cushion vehicles (ACV). Hovercraft operations in the country were first launched from the Haldia Hoverport in 2001.Two ACVs will operate from the FOB at any given time and will ensure regular surveillance of the IMBL (International Maritime Boundary Line) and the adjoining shallow water area around. In addition, various maritime operations like anti-poaching, search and rescue, pollution response and anti-piracy will also be their mandate.

It will coordinate with the state administration, police, customs, fisheries, forest department and other agencies including local fishermen to achieve an effective surveillance and security network.Speaking at the commissioning, Shri Dutt lauded the efforts of the ICG in maintaining a high state of vigil off the West Bengal coast, saving precious human lives during search and rescue operations and aiding the state administration during cyclones, floods and other natural calamities.

He also praised the key role played by the service in the protection and preservation of maritime environment and endangered species.

Inspector General Pandey in his address, stressed the need for maintaining continuous vigil of this strategically important maritime state. He stated that Coast Guard has initiated several far-reaching measures to augment force levels and manpower to meet existing and future maritime challenges.

ICGS Frazerganj will function under the administrative and operational control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (NE), Kolkata through the Commander Coast Guard District Headquarter-8 located at Haldia.

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