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Unified command for coastal security soon

A Correspondent | February 06, 2009 17:42 IST

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Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar on Tuesday directed the Committee of Secretaries to formulate a unified command for coastal districts to counter the terrorist threat from the sea.

Defence Secretary Vijay Singh [Images], Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, Shipping Secretary A P V S Sharma, Fisheries Secretary Gokul Ram and representatives from intelligence agencies and naval forces were present at the meeting.

The COS had come out with a detailed position paper on coastal security from the points of view of legislative amendments, providing weapons and mapping it from the Global Positioning System points of views. State governments wash off their hands on security after the first 12 kms. Further 100 kms are to be dealt by the Centre keeping in mind international water treaties and agreements.

Chandrasekhar also wanted the law ministry to coordinate repealing old laws and uniform it with one basic law. It also needs constitutional amendments. For which Centre is now ready with bills for the ensuing Parliament session.

Madhukar Gupta directed the coastal states to take up the coastal security seriously. Specific instances of threat from militants in the disguise of fishermen are most likely hence safeguards measures are to be tightened.

There is an added threat to southern coastal districts from the Tamil Tigers. The Centre has decided to come up with a single command operation for coastal states.

On Friday, Shipping Secretary Sharma had called Secretary Fisheries Gokul Ram and director general of shipping representatives of ministries discussed issuance of fishermen ID cards, coding of ships, boats and vessels and issuance of GPS mapping facilities.

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