Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the government has adopted a plan to increase the number of ships, equipment and manpower for Coast Guard as per the Vision 2030 and Vision 2041 modernisation plans for ensuring blue economy and security at sea.
“Procurement of four more OPVs, nine replacement vessels, two maritime version helicopters for deep sea patrols has been approved,” she said, UNB reports.
The Prime Minister said this while speaking at the 28th founding anniversary of the Bangladesh Coast Guard and Medal Giving Ceremony held at the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
In order to modernise and strengthen the Bangladesh Coast Guard, the Prime Minister said that advanced technology ships, maritime surveillance systems, hovercrafts and high-speed boats are going to be added to this force very soon.
She mentioned that an initiative has also been taken to establish a digital connection with Bangabandhu Satellite-1 to bring about a revolutionary change in the communication system of the Bangladesh Coast Guard in the deep sea.
Hasina said that in continuation of this, from 2009 to 2022, various types of infrastructures including Coastal Crisis Management Centres have been built at Coast Guard stations and outposts in coastal and remote areas of the country to make the Coast Guard skilled and stronger.
She also said that vessels of various sizes have been constructed.
“Under various development projects, accommodation, barracks and administrative buildings have been constructed in the zones of the Coast Guard,” she said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that training capacity of the Coast Guard manpower was also enhanced by setting up its own training base in Patuakhali, named BCG Base Agrajatra’.
She said inshore patrol vessels, floating cranes, tug boats and various types of high speed boats have been developed for the Bangladesh Coast Guard under various developmental projects.
“Combat uniforms have recently been introduced for the force, which I believe will help boost morale for all members.”
Hasina said that a dockyard is being constructed at Gajaria in Munshiganj district to increase the repair and maintenance capacity of this force.
She said that Coast Guard has been playing a special role in the economic development of the country by ensuring the proper use of marine resources in Bangladesh waters.
In this connection, she said that the motto of this force is ‘Guardians at the Sea’. The meaning of this is to establish it as a true friend of the people in the sea and coastal areas.
The Prime Minister said that Bangladesh Coast Guard has already shown itself as a true friend to the innocent and oppressed people in the coastal areas of the country by preventing wrongdoing and misdeeds.
She said that every member of this force is now strong in the spirit of patriotism and liberation war.
She also mentioned that members of Coast Guard are working tirelessly for the interests of the country when risks are there.
She said that this force gives security for the sea ports, prevent drug smuggling, arms smuggling, human-trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing, control and prevention of sea and river pollution and piracy.
Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over the medals to Coast Guard members for their bravery and special achievements.
A video documentary on the activities of the Coast Guard was screened on the occasion.
She witnessed a colourful cultural programmes and planted a tree sapling.