26/11: Govt undertakes detailed review of coastal security

On the eve of second anniversary of 26/11 strikes, Government Thursday vowed to continue "steady and sustained" efforts to shore up defences as it reviewed vulnerabilities along the coastline and steps taken since the attacks.

Updated: Nov 25, 2010, 21:46 PM IST

New Delhi: On the eve of second anniversary
of 26/11 strikes that exposed chinks in coastal security, Government Thursday vowed to continue "steady and sustained"
efforts to shore up defences as it reviewed vulnerabilities along the coastline and steps taken since the attacks.

A meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar
and attended by chief secretaries and DGPs of 13 states today
took stock of the multi-dimensional initiatives taken to
protect the country`s 7,517 km coastline.

The top officials observed that the coastal security
scheme is under rapid implementation and the coastlines are
decidedly more secure today than before, though much more
needs to be done and many initiatives are still under
implementation.

"The reduction in the vulnerabilities along the coastline
and the strengthening of the security set up responsible for
coastal security would be steady and sustained," an official
said.

The ten terrorists from Pakistan, who attacked Mumbai on
November 26, 2008, had come to the metropolis by taking the
sea route.

During the last two years, security of ports including
minor ports and the training of security personnel has been
given priority.

Post 26/11, the government`s response to the coastal
security imperatives has been multi-dimensional and prompt. A
suitable command structure for maritime security has been
firmed up with four Joint Operation Centres set up and placed
under the Indian Navy, officials said.

With the full implementation of the first phase of the
Coastal Security Scheme by March 2011, states and Union
Territories will be better equipped in terms of coastal police
stations (73), boats (204), vehicles (153), two-wheelers (312)
and manpower/equipment including computers.

The second phase of the Coastal Security Scheme has also
been finalised and approved with an outlay of Rs 1579.91
crore. This will further supplement the States/UTs by
providing more police stations (131), boats (180), large
vessels, (10) and jetties (60). The scheme will also provide
support for equipment, computer systems, vehicles,
two-wheelers etc.

A uniform system for registration of all boats has been
put in place and is under operationalisation. Action is also
being taken for issuance of ID cards to all fishermen.
There is increased emphasis on technology usage and the
process of installation of transponders on vessels to ensure
identification and tracking has been initiated.

Radar chains are also being strengthened. The Registrar
General of India has also undertaken a census of the entire
coastal population and is finalising arrangements for issuance
of ID cards in this area.

PTI