Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday stressed on the need to safeguard not only industrial, commercial and strategic installations, but also the entire coastline from external threats through sea routes.
He was speaking here at a meeting of Home Ministers, Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police (DGPs) of Coastal States and Union Territories, convened to review coastal security.
Singh reviewed all aspects of security along the country’s 7,516 km long coastline.
Steps have been initiated post 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, wherein Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is designated as the authority responsible for coastal security in territorial waters, including areas to be patrolled by coastal police, he said.
Indian Navy is responsible for overall maritime security including coastal and offshore security. Indian coasts are guarded by a 3 tier system of State Marine Police, Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy.
Singh said the ICG conducts coastal security exercises involving all stakeholders in coastal states/UTs biannually to validate these Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for functioning of coastal police stations and also ICG promulgates these SOPs for coordination among various agencies on coastal security issues.
The coastline has been further secured by the creation of chain of static sensors and Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers along the Indian Coast and radars operated by the ICG at 45 locations while 38 more radars are planned to be installed for gapless surveillance of the coastline, Singh said.
MHA has issued guidelines to the coastal states/UTs in regard to security of non-major ports, the minister said.
For training of coastal police, in-principle approval has been accorded for setting up of National Marine Police Training Institute in Gujarat and State Marine Police Training Centres in the Police Training Academies of States and Union Territories, Singh said.
In order to track illegal movement, registration of fishing vessels has been made compulsory and for sensitising fishermen on safety issues, community interaction programmes are conducted by Indian Coast Guard, the Home Minister said.