Significant progress on coastal security: Chidambaram

The government today said significant progress has been made since the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai in strengthening the country`s coastal security.

Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 23:05 PM IST

New Delhi: The government today said
significant progress has been made since the 26/11 terrorist
attacks in Mumbai in strengthening the country`s coastal
security.

Home Minister P Chidambaram also said the identified
gaps which remain to be filled up would be plugged through
Phase-II of the Coastal Security Scheme which is to be
launched next year.

Addressing the Consultative Committee of the Ministry
of Home Affairs here, he said coastal police stations and
boats are well-equipped and around 2,000 police personnel have
been imparted specialised training so far.

"To ensure better coordination among different
agencies, Coastal Command and Joint Operation Centres have
been set up," he said.

Phase-I of the Coastal Security Scheme which has been
in operation since 2005-06 will come to an end in March.

Phase-II, to be launched thereafter, will considerably
strengthen infrastructure in terms of boats, police stations,
jetties, vehicles, equipment, trained personnel, etc.

Responding to a query by the members, Chidambaram said
that Kalpakkam and other key installations on the country`s
coast are well-protected and there need not be any
apprehension in this regard.

The home minister said there was no proposal to
entrust coastal security to the Border Security Force or raise
another Central force for the purpose.

Taking part in the deliberations, members appreciated
the steps taken by the Home Ministry for strengthening coastal
security. They also stressed the need to augment availability
of funds for coastal security.

Some members pointed out the need not to transfer
police personnel specially trained in coastal security to
other areas. Members also stressed the importance of enlisting
cooperation of fishermen and other local groups to ensure
coastal security.

The Coastal Security Scheme aims at providing
assistance to nine coastal states of Gujarat, Maharashtra,
Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and
West Bengal and four coastal Union Territories of Daman & Diu,
Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands to
strengthen their infrastructure for marine policing.

The Scheme provides for setting up 73 coastal police
stations, 97 check posts, 58 outposts and 30 operational
barracks. So far, 71 coastal police stations have been
operationalised and construction of 75 check posts, 54
outposts
and 22 barracks completed. 158 boats were delivered to coastal
states/UTs up to the end of last month.

Those parliamentarians who attended today`s meeting
included K Keshava Rao, Rishang Keishing, H K Dua, Mohd. Ali
Khan, Vinay Katiyar and Ram Gopal Yadav from the Rajya Sabha
and Ratan Singh Ajnala, Thokchom Meinya, Kalyan Banerjee,
Khagen Das and Ismail Hussain from the Lok Sabha.

-PTI