On Monday evening, PM Manmohan Singh who chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security cleared that the setting up of the ICG academy at Azhikkal in Kannur district of Kerala at a cost of Rs.661 crore, which includes land, infrastructure and manpower needs.
An official on Wednesday informed that "The state government has offered 164 acre of land at Azhikkal for the academy. The ICG needs professionally trained officers and enrolled personnel to carry out its mandate at sea to meet the ever-changes in the field of maritime security".
The government has hereby decided to boost the assets and manpower of ICG, which has suffered from erlative neglect since it came into existence in August 1978, after it was being astonished by the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai four years ago.
An official said; "Apart from using Navy's training facilities, ICG also has a makeshift training center at Kochi. But these temporary arrangement have proved to be inadequate due to growing needs of ICG". INA itself is poised for a major expansion at a cost of around Rs.340 crore to ensure the existing annual capacity of 750 trainees can be taken up to 1200 from 2015 onwards.
Presently, ICG is making its move with just 110 'Surface units', which includes 6 advanced and 11 other offshore patrol vessels and 51 'sir units' comprising of 28 Dornier surveillance aircraft, 19 Chetak and four Dhruv helicopters. Moreover, it has 1714 officers, 9196 enrolled personnel and 1553 civilians. This when at least triple those numbers are required to effectively protect India's cast 5422 kms costline, 1197 islands and 2.01 million sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).