PAC highlights slow pace of upgradation of coastal security
The Public Accounts Committee of Maharashtra legislature has rapped the state government for tardy pace of upgradation of coastal security in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Of the 19 new coastal police stations which were to be set up along the 720-km long coastline, work was yet to start at seven locations, PAC said in its latest report.
Nine years after the Mumbai attacks, which highlighted woefully inadequate coastal security as the terrorists entered Mumbai via sea route, upgradation of security was still incomplete, said the report, tabled during the budget session.
PAC pointed out that of the 2,134 personnels appointed at coastal police stations, only 916 have been trained by the Coast Guard so far.
Shockingly, 1,225 (57 per cent) of these personnel can not swim, despite a government notification in November 2014 making it mandatory for them to be able to swim.
Between 2005-10, the Centre sanctioned Rs 104 cr for beefing up the coastal security in Maharashtra. However, the existing 25 coastal police stations were not a part of this project, and upgradation of infrastructure in these stations was proceeding at a slow pace, it said.
The coastal police were supposed to get their own helicopter which didn't happen, PAC pointed out.
Of the 61 functional boats which coastal police have, 34 boats do not have GPS, while against the requirement of 426 bullet-proof jackets only 170 jackets are available, it said.
As to the plan to provide biometric identity cards to fishermen, the report said 1.50 lakh fishermen were given these cards while another 80,000 fishermen were yet to receive them.