New Delhi: With 26/11 Mumbai terror attack still fresh in mind, Home Minister Rajnath Singh will tomorrow review the country’s coastal security with 32 law makers and top security experts at a high-level meeting in Goa.
Singh will chair the meeting of the Consultative Committee of MPs attached to the Home Ministry that will also be attended by Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Chaudhary, Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
They will discuss with top security experts the steps being taken to strengthen India’s 7,517 km long coastline as its security became vital since terrorists of 26/11 attacks reached Mumbai sailing through the Arabian Sea from Karachi.
As many as 18 members of Lok Sabha and 10 of Rajya Sabha will participate in the day-long meeting.
Coastal security of the country has been reviewed comprehensively at various levels and it is one of the top security priority, a Home Ministry official said.
Under the ongoing Coastal Security Scheme, around 100 coastal police stations have been operationalised.
Coast Guard, in consultation with States and Union Territories have also been carried out vulnerability/gap analysis to assess the additional requirements in respect of police stations, check posts, out posts, vehicles, boats etc.
Based on this assessment, a comprehensive proposal, named as Phase-II of the Coastal Security Scheme, is being implemented.
According to the budget for 2015-16, a provision of Rs 710 crore has been made for setting up of mobile check posts in the coastal areas of the country for better surveillance to check illegal activities.
Government had earmarked Rs 150 crore in the last budget.
Recently, the Union Cabinet had decided to install tracking devices in small fishing vessels free of cost to monitor their movement and curb security threat along the coastline.
The coastal security has been topping the agenda of the previous as well as present government keeping in mind the Mumbai terror strikes in 2008.
Lack of surveillance along the coastal line had allowed 10 terrorists to sail to Mumbai from Pakistan and carry out the worst ever terrorist attack in India on November 26, 2008 that left 166 people dead.
The Home Ministry is also in the process of installation of transponders “free of cost” in fishing vessels below 20 metres in length for the purpose of tracking their movement up to a distance of 50-km from the coastline.
India’s long coastline, which runs along nine states and four Union Territories, poses a variety of security concerns that include landing of arms and explosives at isolated spots on the coast besides infiltration or exfiltration of anti-national elements.
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