Coastal security beefed up post 26/11: Navy
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 01, 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.


First Published: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, 22:02

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