Goa undertakes survey to plug holes in coastal security

May 27th, 2009 - 11:28 am ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 27 (IANS) In a bid to plug holes in the security along its 105 km coastline, the Goa government’s marine agencies have launched an exhaustive survey of illegally built jetties and contraband landing points along the Arabian Sea, an official here said Wednesday.
The Captain of Port (CoP) department, which is the nodal agency in charge of minor ports in the state, has been charged with the responsibility of charting out the fault-lines along the Goan shores, which were notorious in the past for landing contraband.

“We have been furnished details about possible landing spots and illegal jetties, which could be used for nefarious activities,” Deputy CoP James Braganza told IANS.

This effort is a part of the post 26/11 strategy by central security agencies to tighten security along the nation’s coastline to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into India from the seas.

“The modalities of the survey were discussed at a monthly security meeting. We have also received instructions in writing from the union home ministry to identify the soft spots,” Braganza said.

The CoP will be assisted by the state marine police force, who will help to identify the illegal jetties and other landing spots.

The Coast Guard and Indian Navy officials have in the past lambasted the state government agencies for not acting fast enough when it came to issues like security risks along the coastline.

Speaking at a seminar held earlier this month, Coast Guard Deputy Inspector General M.S. Dangi said that the Goa government was dragging its feet over the issue.

“There are nearly 40 illegal landing points, which function without the government’s permission. Each of these places needs to be verified for security purposes,” Dangi had said.

The tourism industry in Goa was virtually paralysed last season after reports that the state was on the terror radar after the 26/11 strikes in Mumbai.

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