Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday approved Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s proposal to set up a Central Marine Police Force to protect sea, coasts, ports and vital institutions along 7,516-km national coastline.
Fadnavis had mooted the proposal at the coastal security meeting on Thursday in Mumbai. The detailed structure, operations and modalities of the force will be worked out in the coming weeks. Fadnavis, in the meeting, also suggested that all landing points and non-major ports should be brought under tech-based e-surveillance. The decision to have a central command for Marine Police elicited support from all ministers and officials from across states and Union territories participating in the marathon meeting.
Singh was in Mumbai to chair the meeting of the ministers, chief secretaries, and director general of police (DGPs) of coastal states and union territories. The central theme of the meeting was to evolve a better mechanism for effective coordination amongst navy, Coast Guard, police and the home department.
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Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said, “ Fadnavis suggested that marine policing being a specialised job, a Central Marine Police Force be created. The proposal has been endorsed by the union home minister.”
While addressing the meeting, Singh emphasised on challenges in maritime terrorism and its far-reaching economic implications to the nation. The Centre is preparing to take the coastal security to the third phase and more reforms will be executed in the next five years, Singh said.
A decision to set up National Marine Police Training Institute in Dwarka (Gujarat) and State Marine Police Training Centers in the Police Training Academies of state and union territories was also approved in the meeting.
Expeditious implementation of coastal security scheme, institutional set up in states and union territories to review coastal security, constitution of state maritime boards, security of non-major ports and single point moorings, coastal mapping, security of islands, distribution of biometric identity cards and card readers, colour-coding of boats, monitoring of fish landing point and crossing of International Maritime Boundary Line by fishermen were some of the aspects which were discussed at length at the meeting, said Mehrishi.
The union home minister also discussed on safeguarding 1,328 islands dotted across India from security threats.