Offshore Security Coordination Committee Takes stock of the security preparedness

The 135th meeting of the Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC) was held at Ahmedabad, under the chairmanship of DG Rakesh Pal, Director General Indian Coast Guard. The committee reviewed the preparedness and effectiveness of the security of India’s offshore installations. The meeting was attended by representatives from various organizations including the Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, ONGC, DGH, DG Shipping, MHA, MEA, and DRDO among others.

Constituted in 1978 to ensure the smooth and effective functioning of offshore security arrangements, OSCC is the apex policy-making body that meets every six months to review and evaluate offshore security in India.

Addressing the meeting, the chairman of the OSCC highlighted the Government’s initiatives of opening a substantial portion of EEZ and expansion of exploration and production activities in a bid to achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector. DG Rakesh Pal underlined the importance of focused and sustained offshore security efforts for facilitating these activities in a safe and secure environment.

Highlighting the incident of stranded personnel onboard Jackup rig “Key Singapore” during Very Severe Cyclone Biparjoyat Okha, Gujarat in June this year, the Director General, Indian Coast Guard, lauded the efforts of rescue agencies especially ICG for safely evacuating 50 personnel in extremely adverse weather and stressed on having SOPs for safety of men and material onboard oil platforms during cyclonic weather.

Expressing concern over security challenges that emerged due to ongoing conflicts in various parts of the world, DG Rakesh Pal emphasized the need for modern technology such as anti-drone solutions in order to adapt to the evolving maritime threat environment and bolster offshore security efforts.

The chairman appreciated the prompt response of offshore security agencies in detecting the adrift derelict vessel ‘Al-Azher-1’ and subsequent efforts of ICG in averting any un-towards incident. It demonstrated the effectiveness of the functioning of OSCC as a forum, he said.