A row has broken out between the Maharashtra Government and the Centre over the Union Ministry’s decision to relocate national marine police academy from Maharashtra to Gujarat.

Home Minister of Maharashtra RR Patil on Thursday alleged that Union Home Ministry, under pressure from the Prime Minister, decided to cancel plans of setting up the academy in the coastal Palghar district of Maharashtra and took it to Dwarka in Gujarat.

Attacks After the November 26, 2008, terrorist attack on Mumbai, carried out by Pakistani terrorists using the sea route, attempts were made in coastal States to upgrade security infrastructure along the sea.

Following the attack, the Centre had planned to create a hub for the National Security Guard (NSG) and a national marine police academy in the State. The NSG base came up in Mumbai but plans for setting up the academy could not move beyond land acquisition. “For the academy, acres of land with clear title was given to the Centre at Palghar. But it seems the Home Ministry wants to please the Prime Minister, therefore it has taken the academy to Gujarat. Such favouritism could compromise national security,” Patil said.

Patil blamed the Modi Government for the situation and expressed concern that it could affect the constitutional arrangements and good relations between the Centre and State. Earlier it was the issue of appointment of Governor and now it is the academy, he said.

He added that Maharashtra was fitting into all norms of lands of the site selection committee, including availability of useful land and close proximity to Naval and Coast Guard security infrastructure but still the plan was dropped.

“We want the academy to come up in Maharashtra,” he said. The proposed academy at Dwarka, will create a marine police force and provide training for protecting the vulnerable areas of sea. A dedicated force for protecting ports is also on the cards.