Boats Ignores Alert System

While over 20,000 boats are operating Off Odisha Coast for fishing, most of them are not possessing Distress Alert Transmitter (DAT), for which those vessels and fishermen are leaving themselves vulnerable in the sea.

Repeated requests have been made by the authorities to fit Alert Transmitter time and again, however due to callousness of these fishermen and boat owners, they are facing life and death situation in sea and rescuing them from the disaster is turning out to be Herculean Task.
Indian Coast Guard authorities has brought  to the attention of the State Government recently, while detailing out the scenario, which needs urgent attention of the State Administration.
Commander of Coast Guard in Odisha, Rajesh Makwana  has said that out of total 20,527 boats registered with State Fisheries Directorate for taking up operations in Off Odisha Coast, 11,038 boats are Non-Motorized, 8745 are Motorized and 1744 are Mechanized ones.
He said out of these boats only 1255 fishing boats are in possession of DATs on board and out of these only 662 fishing boats fitted with DATs have registered with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Chennai.
MRCC is the single focal point for receiving Distress Alerts of DATs and helps out the fishermen in distress.
MRCC is maintaining Data Bank and keeping in touch with the fishermen, when it comes to their notice, those are having registered DATs.
Several times it has come to notice  to the Indian Coast Guard authorities that during Search and Rescue Operations (SAR) distress call could not be initiated by fishermen due to non-availability of DAT on board.
Fitting of Alert Transmission is highly essential as it helps in saving precious lives of the fishermen at sea during the time of disasters.
Similarly as the Odisha is facing cyclone and disasters frequently, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has also urged the State Government for strengthening the Disaster Response Mechanism in the State.
Lt.Gen N C Marwah, Member NDMA has written to the State Government in this regard and has asked to activate Incident Response System (IRS) in the State.
Under the backdrop of high vulnerability to various natural disasters and hazards, conducting Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Response Exercises are  being taken up, said he.
State and District Disaster Management Plans are needed to be in place with details regarding role, availability, deployment of resources of all stakeholders in disaster response operations be comprehensively documented at State and District level, said Lt.Gen Marwah.
Strengthening Civil Defence and utilising the services of the Territorial Army in disaster response can be utilised. However they are needed to be provided proper training and suitably equipped, said he.

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