Coastal security beefed up post 26/11: Navy

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 22:02

Mumbai: Coastal security has been beefed
up post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, a top Navy official
said on Wednesday.

"The first thing which has been done is to beef up the
coastal security, in terms of marine and coastal police
stations with equipment, manpower and communication," Western
Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin said.

India has a huge coast line of 7,600 km and there are
also island territories and landing points, he said.
"The porousness of the coastline is nothing new. This
was very effectively utilised in the past by the smuggling
community in the western coast, particularly in Gujarat and
Maharashtra.

"The Customs were aware of the landing points. Then
smuggling declined and economy got opened. Then there was drug
and human trafficking," the official said.

Post 26/11, authority was given to the Navy for
Coastal Defence and the Coast Guard for coastal security in
waters up to 12 nautical miles which was earlier under the
purview of state government, Bhasin said.

High speed patrol boats have been procured and marine
police was able to actually carry out policing and security
activity into coastal waters up to 12 nautical miles, he said.

The problem the marine police is facing now is
training of personnel which is now undertaken by the Navy and
Coast Guard, Bhasin said.

"Equipping the personnel...what type of communication
sets, shoes, binoculars, weapons they should have. The biggest
problem is the navigation of boats and maintenance of
engines," he said.

The Naval headquarters published a detailed project
report on national maritime domain awareness.

The report, addressed to governments of all coastal
states outlined the hardware and software, like the computer,
communication system and network required to be procured by
state governments so that they are networked with the centre,
to be established in Delhi, he said.

"Then, everyone would be there on the same network and
we will be able to exchange information more speedily and
effectively. The state governments are looking at it very
carefully. I am sure this will gather momentum in the next
couple of months," the official said.
On issuing identity cards for small mechanised boats,
he said the Home Ministry is looking into the issue.

On new inductions, Bhasin said the Navy has ordered 39
ships, orders for 34 of which have been placed with Indian
shipyards.

"We are very happy to note that private shipyards have
also built very successfully for naval ship construction
programme and this is a welcome addition and a competition
provided by the private sector now," he said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 22:02

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