Central Government drops plan to set up Coast Guard Academy in Kerala

New Delhi, December 2, 2019: Since Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has denied grant of Environment and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances for setting-up of Indian Coast Guard Academy at Azhikkal, Kerala, as the project site at Azhikkal falls under CRZ-1(A) area, wherein no construction is permissible as per the CRZ notification, the project of Indian Coast Guard to establish Indian Coast Guard Academy (ICGA) at Azhikkal, Kerala has been dropped.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik in a written reply to Shri Elamaram Kareem in Rajya Sabha today.

ICGA was to come up on a 164 acres (0.66 km2) campus near Valapattanam estuary on the Arabian Sea in Irinavu near Azhikkal in Kannur district of northern Kerala. It is located about 8 miles (13 km) south of INA, Ezhimala, and the two maritime academies were expected to share some training infrastructure in the Kerala backwaters.

Indian Coast Guard personnel were historically trained at the Indian Naval Academy (INA). Following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Indian government initiated a program to triple the ICG force, assets and infrastructure. Both the Navy and the government recognized that the increased intake of ICG cadets would further tax the already-stretched INA facilities. This provided an added impetus for the Union Council of Ministers to approve the establishment of the ICGA in 2009.

The search for a site for the academy started in earnest in 2010. Various sites were considered for the academy, the primary criterion being ample space on the coastal waterfront. The Government of Kerala was keen to host the site in the state. Consequently, the then Minister for Industries and Commerce of Kerala, Elamaram Kareem, prevailed upon the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) to transfer some of its unutilized land in the coastal town of Azhikkal to the ICG for the academy. The transfer was completed on 24 February 2011. On 27 February, the then Defence Minister of India, A. K. Antony, announced the plans to start construction of the academy. The foundation stone for the academy was laid on 28 May 2011.