Enfeebled Coastguard Gets Rockbottom Report

Yesterday, India's national audit agency, the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) placed reports in Parliament, the thickest among them detailing massive graft in the administration of the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Buried under that hot political story -- and only touched upon briefly by some media -- was the auditor's report on the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The report was released at a particularly mortifying time for the ICG -- less than a week before, it was in the spotlight (along with the navy and Mumbai police) for being ostensibly clueless about the 1,000-ton abandoned merchant vessel MT Pavit that drifted across the Arabian Sea and ran aground on one of Mumbai's most popular beaches. The ship had sliced through layer after layer of India's maritime security tiers. The audit report is thundering indictment of red tape, turf battles, faulty procurement, government apathy and massively misdirected expenditure that has resulted in none of the heightened preparedness and minimised reaction time that the 26/11 attack had necessitated. Another day. Another wake up call. Pity.
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