Centre moves to beef up coastal security
Convenes meeting of Chief Ministers on June 16
As India’s coastline continues to be vulnerable to terror attacks, the Centre has convened a meeting of chief ministers of all coastal states for strengthening security — both offshore and onshore.
The meeting, to be held in Mumbai on June 16, will be chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
It will review all aspects of security along the country’s 7,517-km coastline, which is dotted with 12 major ports and 187 minor or intermediate ports.
Chief ministers of all states and chief ministers or administrators of Union territories having a coastline have been invited for the meeting.
“We will create better, robust security system on our coastline. Chief ministers of nine coastal states and four UTs will meet in Mumbai on June 16,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters here today.
The meeting venue has significance as the metropolis was the target of India’s worst terror attack in 2008. Ten terrorists had come from Pakistan through the sea route, killing 166 people.
The Centre has been implementing a ‘Coastal Security Scheme’ since 2005 for strengthening infrastructure for coastal patrolling and surveillance.
Aid to States
Under the scheme, assistance is given to all coastal states — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal — and Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands to set up coastal police stations, check posts, outposts and constructing operational barracks and to equip them with high-speed boats, jeeps and motorcycles for mobility on the coast and in close coastal waters.
A lump-sum assistance of ₹10 lakh per police station is also given for equipment, computers and furniture.
The meeting is expected to focus on the implementation aspects and progress vis-a-vis the entire range of issues relating to maritime/coastal security which, include uniform system for registration for fishing and other vessels, uniform system of issuance of multipurpose national ID cards to fishermen, issuance of identity cards to the population living in the coastal villages, installation of navigational and communication equipments on the fishing vessels.
Several steps were initiated post 26/11 Mumbai terror attack for round-the-clock vigil of eastern and western coasts that have been intensified gradually but threat along the coastline continues to exist, a Home Ministry official said.
The measures for port security include installation of vehicles traffic movement system, CCTVs, patrolling of port areas by vehicles, creation of deterrence by creating proper perimeter wall, illuminating port area, cancelling access to ports and ships, conducting physical verification besides others.