Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the Bangladesh Coast Guard will be strengthened so that they can play a role in helping the government tap the potential of ‘Blue Economy’.
“Keeping in mind the Blue Economy and Vision 2030 and 2041 for Coast Guard, the government has planned to increase its manpower from 4,781 to 15,000 gradually,” she said today.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing the commissioning programme of two offshore patrol ships, five in-shore patrol vessels, two fast patrol boats and BCG Base Bhola.
The programme was held at Coast Guard Berth Patenga, while the Prime Minister joined virtually from her official residence Gono Bhaban.
Sheikh Hasina asked Bangladesh Coast Guard members to discharge their responsibilities with patriotism, honesty and faith.
“You’ll to pay special attention [to your duties] so that the good image of the Coast Guard remains unharmed always,” she said.
The Prime Minister assured the force of all-out cooperation from the government in maintaining its forward march. “I can give you that assurance.”
She said Narayanganj dockyard and Khulna shipyard, now operating under Bangladesh Navy, are building two in-shore patrol vessels, one floating crane, two tugboats and 16 boats. “Soon, these will be inducted into the Coast Guard fleet.”
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that a dockyard is being prepared in Gajaria for the Coast Guard to increase its capacity for repairing and maintenance.
“To enhance the capacity of this force, initiatives have been taken to procure hovercrafts, drones, and 3500 metric-tonne vessels which can operate in all weather conditions. We want to build the Coast Guard as a modern and time befitting force,” the Prime Minister said.
Terming Bangladesh a land of natural calamities, she said the people of the country have to live facing all these natural adversities. “We have to live with these, we have to put our attention towards saving the lives of people facing all the odds, and we have to acquire those capabilities.”
Hasina said Bangladesh has got a vast ocean border which can be utilised for the economic development of the country. “The Bay of Bengal is a very important region as trade and commerce of many countries run through this area.”
The Prime Minister mentioned that the government wants to ensure security in coastal districts and improve their economic condition.
“Keeping that in mind, we want to use our sea resources for our economic development. For that, we’ve declared the Blue Economy, we have adopted a plan of how we could use our ocean resources for the country’s development,” she said.
Director General of Bangladesh Coast Guard Rear Admiral M Ashraful Haque also spoke at the programme from Coast Guard Berth, Patenga.