As part of the country’s plan to beef-up surveillance and intelligence gathering in Indian Ocean, the Indian Coast Guard proposes to install a Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station at Keating Point in Car Nicobar.
A small patch of tribal reserve area has been identified and will be diverted for the project. The proposal was discussed at the 36th meeting of Regional Empowered Committee at Union Environment Ministry’s Regional Office (South Eastern Zone) in Chennai on June 18. Car Nicobar is strategically located in the heart of Andaman and Nicobar islands archipelago.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a coastal surveillance radar system built by India in Maldives. The proposed station has been approved by District Forest Officer (DFO) of Nicobar forest division and Andaman and Nicobar administration. As per official documents, available with Express,
the radar station will cost Rs 9 crore and the legal status of the land to be diverted, as per Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Port Blair, is a tribal reserve area. The Centre had given its approval under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
Defence officials said India is building a network of such radar stations in Indian Ocean region. The coastal surveillance radar is the primary sensor for Integrated Coastal Surveillance System (ICSS). It is capable of detecting sub 20-metre boats such as county boats, dinghies and fishing vessels in heavy sea clutter environment in all weather conditions. The radar is capable of operating 24x7.