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Maharashtra seeks funds to modernise police force

January 07, 2009 15:13 IST

Maharashtra, which has witnessed a number of terror attacks with the latest being on Mumbai, has demanded constitution of a Central Coastal Security Authority.
    
"Instead of demarcating the responsibilities between the state police, Navy, Coast Guards on-shore and off-shore for keeping vigil on big and small boats off the coast and in the sea, a Central Coastal Security Act should be enacted to handle all of these under one roof," Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said at the chief ministers conference on internal security in New Delhi on Tuesday.
    
In order to strengthen and keep a better vigil on the coastal security, the state has taken a decision to purchase
speed-boats at a cost of Rs 49 crores. "18 boats would be hired on immediate basis," he said. Chavan also spoke about various measures taken by the state government to thwart terror attacks.
    
"There is the State Intelligence Department, a state's nodal agency gathering intelligence for the state headquartered in Mumbai, it has a unit in each district. For Mumbai, it has 12 zonal units and one unit at airport to facilitate collection of information. These intelligence units have operational coordination with Research and Analysis Wing, Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence, Navy Intelligence, Department of Revenue Intelligence, ATS and the Anti-Naxal Operations," Chavan said.

The state government has recently sanctioned Rs 3.5 crore for the formation of a state-of-the-art Cyber Monitoring Unit for Intelligence gathering and train officers exclusively, he said.
    
Chavan also spoke about the preventive measures being taken by the government after the 26/11 Mumbai attack. ".416 fixed points have been identified in Mumbai city, including public places, vital installations, religious shrines, schools, colleges, financial institutions, Bombay Stock Exchange, five star hotels, theaters and multiplexes. Round the clock deployment of armed units at such places would definitely instill a sense of security amongst citizens," he said.
    
The state has also proposed to set up State Industrial Security Force shortly, on the lines of the CISF. "After its formation, it would train and equip to provide security to private and public set ups, easing pressure off the police," Chavan said.
    
An expert committee has also been constituted to recommend amendments to the Development Control Rules in the
process of building permissions to ensure safety and security with regards to man made disasters.
    
"33,000 new police posts have been created from 2006-07, which have been filled up to large extent. The creation of
Force I, which would include 238 commandos trained by the NSG. Special bomb detection and disposal units are being set up in each district," Chavan said. The CM also demanded assistance for Rs 14 crores for training Force I with modern equipment.
    
"Two control rooms, one for Mumbai and the other for the rest of Maharashtra have been working on 24x7 basis," he said.
    
Chavan also demanded an additional assistance of Rs 24 crores from the Centre to strengthen and modernise the Anti-Terrorism Squad and SID.
    
"In case of emergencies, the State should have power to use Army and Airforce helicopters," the Chief Minister added.

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