Coastline security to be spruced up after Mumbai attacks

Coastline security to be spruced up after Mumbai attacks


New Delhi:The use of coastal route by terrorists to sneak into Mumbai has exposed the vulnerability of the country’s 7,516-km coastline and the Home Ministry is devising ways to thoroughly overhaul policing along the shores.

With 12 major and 180 minor ports, the security establishment is toying with the idea of having all fishing boats registered with the police department to maintain a list of their owners.

As the Sir Creek area in the India-Pakistan border in Gujarat is highly vulnerable to terrorist activities, Indian security forces have warned their Pakistani counterparts that they would not allow movement of boats in the area.

“We will not allow any intrusion into our territory. This has been conveyed to them (Pakistan)," a senior Home Ministry official said.

Joint coastal patrolling in Gujarat has already been taken over by the Coast Guard.

Realizing that mere sending of advisories to nine states and four UTs from time to time was not enough, proper coordination among the Navy, Coast Guard and police for better coastal security was suggested at a high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

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