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Maritime terrorism a big threat, says Rajnath


Mumbai : Maritime terrorism is a big threat with huge economic implications and the government is carrying out a security audit of all major and non major ports to identify vulnerable points in coastal security, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.

“The vulnerability of our coasts was exposed in 1993 when explosives were smuggled to Raigad and then in 2008 when terrorists attacked Mumbai,” the HMO tweeted Rajnath as saying at a meeting here to review coastal security.

“We need to make our coastal security foolproof and impregnable,” he further tweeted.

“Maritime terrorism is a big threat and it has huge economic implications,” Rajnath said at the meeting.

On coastal security after the deadly 26/11 attacks, he said, “Many initiatives have been taken to strengthen our coastal security post 2008 attacks on Mumbai.”

“We are securing the Indian coastline by creating a chain of Radars and Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers,” he further tweeted.

Referring to Coastal Security Scheme (CSS), the Home Minister said, “After the success of CSS 1 and 2 we are preparing concept paper for CSS 3. We need your inputs for

Rajnath also said that, “To identify vulnerable points in our coastal security we are carrying out security audits of all major and non major ports”.

Indian Coastguard is working to integrate the fisherman community through Community Interaction Programme, he said.

Home ministers and top officials from nine coastal states (West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat) and four Union Territories, (Daman & Diu, Dadra  and Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Inter-State Council Secretariat (ISCS), Registrar General of India, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Shipping, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Indian Coast Guard are participating in the meeting.

During the meeting, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis dwelt on the action taken by the state government to enforce colour coding of fishing vessels, issuing biometric cards to fishermen and their participation in community policing.

He suggested that marine policing being a specialised job, a Central Marine Police Force be created to protect sea, coast, ports and vital institutions.

Fadnavis emphasised that since the time PM Narendra Modi and GoI have planned to leverage India’s marine stretch by giving impetus on port led development and on initiatives like Sagarmala, it has mandated the coastal security to be taken to the next level.

Fadnavis also suggested that all lending points and non-major ports should be brought under tech-based e-surveillance and the Government of India should bear the capex and states would bear the operation expenses.

He suggested that under universal service obligation, GSM service providers be asked to provide services in 5 nautical miles seawards from coast.

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