India reviews coastal security, to add 204 interceptor boats

December 5th, 2008 - 11:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta Friday reviewed the country’s coastal security in the wake of the terror strikes in Mumbai and asked the state governments to operationalise all coastal police stations and check-posts. He also promised them an additional 204 interceptor boats.“The home secretary stressed that all the 73 coastal security police stations, 97 check-posts and 58 outposts should become fully operational within the shortest possible time,” the ministry said in a statement.

Gupta also asked the states and union territories to be ready with adequate and trained manpower so that they can be fully and optimally utilized once the delivery of 204 interceptor boats commences from March-April 2009.

“It is likely that the delivery may commence even earlier and that the total time span for delivery of all boats would also be compressed,” he stressed.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of nine coastal states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal and four union territories and representatives of ministries and organisations concerned.

As the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks used the sea route to enter the Maharashtra capital, Gupta emphasised the need for state governments and union territories to prioritise and focus on expeditious implementation of all components of the Coastal Security Scheme.

He reminded stakeholders to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness.

The use of transponders and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on registered boats and the issue of digitised identity cards was also discussed at the meet.

“The need to enhance the capacity of security and surveillance agencies to undertake real-time exchange and use of information relating to fishermen and boats specifically and coastal patrolling was also discussed and appropriate strategies considered,” the ministry said.

During the meet, some states sought sanction of additional coastal police stations.

Gupta asked the representatives of the Coast Guard and state governments to carry out a detailed vulnerability gap analysis to identify the requirements of additional police stations and their locations.

He also suggested that some police stations could be co-located with minor ports along the coast and asked the state governments to carry out an exercise in this regard in a time-bound manner.

The meeting also considered various aspects related to the issuance of identity cards to all fishermen and sea-faring personnel and for registration of boats.

State governments were asked to review their laws and regulations in this regard and also make available the details of the same so that uniform norms and policies could be determined as far as possible.

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