August 6, 2011 2:53:35 am
Bringing to light the gaping holes in coastal security that existed in the run-up to the 2008 Mumbai attacks,a performance audit has revealed that both the Navy and Coast Guard had left inner layer operations in the Maharashtra coast to the ill-equipped local police,and has blasted the government for failing to issue clear-cut instructions on coastal security till recently.
In a detailed analysis of Navy and Coast Guard activities prior to the 26/11 attacks,a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has brought out that joint coastal patrolling off the Mumbai coast had been discontinued by the Indian Navy after September 2005,while the Coast Guard never carried out inner layer patrols till December 2010.
The responsibility of inner layer security was thrust upon the ill-equipped coastal police and Customs,as the Ministry of Home Affairs had decided to establish coastal police stations to check smuggling of arms and ammunition. However,during the attacks,only 47 of the planned 73 coastal police stations had been established.
The report blasts the government for an ill-equipped Coast Guard,with only 68 ships and 45 aircrafts in service as opposed to the 175 ships and 221 aircrafts required for effective patrolling in 2008. The Coast Guard was reprimanded as even the existing fleet was not fully utilised in the months prior to the attack.
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