New Delhi: Government has started a special training programme for fishermen and coastal villagers to monitor movement of ships and fishing boats and immediately alert security forces if anything suspicious is found in seas.
Under the programme, started in more than 200 villages along western coastline, the coastal population is being given security awareness training and handling of various gadgets for swift action and communication.
"We have started the programme involving common citizens, including fishermen, living in coastal villages for protection of coastal areas. The training programme is part of the whole exercise," a senior official said.
Training on how to handle surveillance equipment like night vision device, Global Positioning System and Transponders are also part of the programme.
The terrorists, who carried out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, had come from Karachi through the sea which exposed chinks in the security of the country`s 7,517 km coastline.
The programme is part of the government`s "steady and sustained" efforts to shore up defences as it continues to review vulnerabilities along the coastline.
Post 26/11, the government`s response to coastal security has been multi-dimensional. A suitable command structure for maritime security has been firmed up with several Joint Operation Centres set up and placed under the Indian Navy, the official said.
After the full implementation of the first phase of the Coastal Security Scheme on March 31, 2011, the second phase has started subsequently.