Govt to buy 150 petrol boats for coastal security

In its efforts to tighten security, the Centre has decided to procure 150 petrol boats to be given to coastal states to intensify vigil along the country`s coastline.

New Delhi: In its efforts to tighten
security, the Centre has decided to procure 150 petrol boats
to be given to coastal states to intensify vigil along the
country`s coastline.

The boats, to be procured under the Coastal Security
Scheme Phase-II, will be distributed among nine coastal states
-- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu,
Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal -- and four Union
Territories -- Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and
Andaman and Nicober Islands.

"We have already floated the tender for procurement of the
150 modified petrol boats. We hope that the first delivery of
about 30 boats will start from the middle of next year," a
Home Ministry official said.

Though the Phase-I of the Coastal Security Scheme was
launched in 2005-2006, it gained momentum only after the
November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, who had entered the
metropolis taking the sea route, exposed gaps in India`s
coastal security architecture, which had earlier not received
adequate attention.

Coastal Security Scheme (Phase-II) has been approved by
the government for implementation over a period of five years
beginning April 1, 2011. The approved financial outlay of
scheme is around Rs 1,579 crore. The scheme will cover all the
nine coastal states and four UTs.

Under the scheme, government plans to establish 131
coastal police stations, procure 180 boats, set up 60 jetties,
purchase 131 four wheelers and 242 motorcycles.

Rs 15 lakh will also be given to each of the coastal
police stations for procuring surveillance equipment, computer
systems and furniture.

The total length of India`s coastline is 7,516-km with 13
major and 185 minor ports and a huge 2.01 million sq km
Exclusive Economic Zone.

Phase-I of the Coastal Security Scheme included the
setting up of 73 coastal police stations, 97 check-posts, 58
outposts and 30 operational barracks, along with 204 boats,
153 jeeps and 312 motorcycles.

Under the new security plan put in place after 26/11, Navy
is now the "designated authority" responsible for overall
maritime security, with both coastal and offshore security
under its control.

PTI

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