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Coastline security to be beefed up

November 27, 2008 20:11 IST

The use of coastal route by terrorists to sneak into Mumbai has once again brought to the fore the need for beefing up security along the country's 7,516 km coastline.

On the basis of intelligence inputs, the Union Home Ministry recently obtained approval for the creation of 400 posts for coastal security.

Keeping in view the vulnerability of the coastline in Maharashtra and Gujarat, a Joint Coastal Patrolling was introduced to check illegal cross border activities.

Under this arrangement, patrolling of the coastal areas is undertaken by the Navy, the state police and Customs, sources in the ministry said.

The Union home ministry launched a coastal security scheme over two years ago and sanctioned 73 police stations in nine coastal states and four Union Territories.

The scheme, which envisages setting up of 10 police stations in Gujarat, six in Andhra Pradesh, four in West Bengal, three in Goa [Images], one each in Kerala [Images], Puducherry and Daman and Diu, 12 in Maharashtra and five in Karnataka, was approved to be implemented in a six-year period beginning 2005-06.

These police stations was supposed to be equipped with 204 boats, 149 jeeps and 312 motor cycles for increasing mobility of the police personnel on the coasts and in close coastal waters.

Besides, the scheme envisaged setting up of 97 check posts, 58 out posts and 30 barracks.

It was also decided to create additional infrastructure for Coast Guard to enable it undertake joint coastal patrolling, sources said.

Under the scheme, assistance would be given to Coast Guard to procure 15 interceptor boats suitable for patrolling the coastal waters and for setting up three Coast Guard Stations -- two in Maharashtra and one in Gujarat.

The Coast Guard is imparting training to different State police personnel in mounting maritime vigil.

he scheme is being implemented jointly by the Union home ministry, which will meet the non-recurring expenditure, and the defence ministry, which will meet the recurring expenditure.

Of the new posts for four Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Puducherry, the highest number of 186 posts will be in Andaman and Nicobar Islands aimed at preventing infiltration of terrorists and smuggling of arms from Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Lakshadweep will have 140 such posts followed by 60 in Daman and Diu. For Puducherry 20 posts have been sanctioned, sources said, adding the UT will also have a coastal police station to check any illegal activity.

While Daman and Diu will have two police stations, for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, three operational buildings have been sanctioned. Besides, four police stations will come up in Lakshadweep.

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