Bugest boost for coastal security initiatives
Government has finally decided to give impetus to steps for coastal security with a whopping 18-fold increase in allocation in Union Budget to secure the country's 7,517-km coastline.
New Delhi: Government has finally decided to give impetus to steps for coastal security with a whopping 18-fold increase in allocation in Union Budget to secure the country's 7,517-km coastline.
According to the budget for 2015-16, a provision of Rs 710 crore has been made for setting up of mobile check posts in the coastal areas of the country for better surveillance to check illegal activities.
It is an 18-fold rise over the Rs 39.37 crore utilisation in the revised plan. Government had earmarked Rs 150 crore in the last budget.
However, the Union Cabinet had recently decided to install tracking devices in small fishing vessels free of cost to monitor their movement and curb security threat along the coastline.
The coastal security has been topping the agenda of the previous as well as present government keeping in mind the Mumbai terror strikes in 2008. However, many bureaucratic bottlenecks stopped the progress.
Lack of surveillance along the coastal line had allowed 10 terrorists to sail to Mumbai from Pakistan and carry out the worst ever terrorist attack in India on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead.
The Home Ministry had submitted a proposal seeking approval for installation of transponders "free of cost" in fishing vessels below 20 metres in length for the purpose of tracking their movement up to a distance of 50-km from the coastline.
The ministry has estimated the cost of each transponder at about Rs 16,800 and sought funds to the tune of Rs 336 crore for installing two lakh transponders in small boats.
India's long coastline, which runs along nine states and four Union Territories, poses a variety of security concerns that include landing of arms and explosives at isolated spots on the coast besides infiltration or exfiltration of anti -national elements.