Dr. Avnish Joly, New Delhi, 18th December, 2008 :As part of the security overhaul following the Mumbai terror attacks, the government on Wednesday eased the environmental clearance norms to enable speedy setting up of coastal police stations.
"It has been decided to consider these police stations under the category of projects requiring waterfront. These coastal police stations are required for defence policing and vigilance purposes in coastal areas whose nature of work required special consideration," a release from the Prime Minister
Coastal security is under focus as 10 terrorists, who struck Mumbai on November 26, arrived in the city using the sea route.Two years back, the Home Ministry launched the coastal security scheme with an outlay of Rs 400 crore (US $80.6 million) for strengthening arrangements to check infiltration in nine coastal states.
The scheme envisaged 73 marine costal police stations, 97 checkposts that would be equipped 204 boats, 153 jeeps and 312 motorcycles.But, progress in realising this scheme has been slow and states have yet to train the marine police.
The blueprint also envisaged a police force to guard the shores and creeks along Maharashtra’s 720-km long waterfront, but it is yet to be acted upon.