Kerala asks central government to protect coastFebruary 6th, 2009 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Steps must be taken to “protect the coastal areas as we protect our borders”, Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Friday, asking the central government to play a more intensive role in protecting India’s coast.”In the wake of Mumbai terror strike, our demand to central government is to take immediate measures to protect the coastal areas of the country as we protect our borders. I will raise this demand when Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram visits the state Monday,” Balakrishnan told IANS on phone from Kerala.
“Preventing infiltration into border areas is deemed to be a central government responsibility while enforcing the law in these coastal areas is a state responsibility. The central government must take on a more intensive role in protecting the sea border, as is done all along the land borders,” the minister said.
Balakrishnan said he had raised the same demand at the conference of chief ministers on internal security held in New Delhi Jan 6.
Chidambaram will inaugurate a special police station - whose officers will concentrate on the shoreline and a short distance out to sea - at Neendakara in Kollam district. Later, he will hold discussions with the state home minister and senior state government officials on security-related issues, particularly those specific to the state, said a central home ministry statement here.
Balakrishnan said the state has already taken certain steps to protect the vast coastal areas of the state.
“We have constituted 10-member vigilance committees consisting of fishermen and boat owners under 67 coastal police stations across the state. They are equipped with facilities including mobile phones. If they find anything suspicious in the sea, they will inform the police,” Balakrishnan said.