30 July :The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Thiru. T. R. Baalu chaired a meeting here today to review the security measures at Major Ports and also the implementation of International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS Code). The meeting was attended by the Port Chairmen, representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, CISF, Customs and Navy etc. besides the Officials of the Ministry.
Speaking at the meeting, Thiru. Baalu said that all Ports should scrupulously follow the existing guidelines with regard to the security of the ports and should regularly hold meetings with the local Police, Coast Guards, Navy, CISF and other security agencies. Emphasising on Inter-Agency cooperation, the Minister said that there should be high level coordination amongst all the agencies involved in the task of port security.
The Minister directed that every port should have a Bomb Disposal Squad and a Dog Squad at its disposal. He said that other security related demands of the ports should also be looked into on priority basis. He said that port authorities should immediately approach the Ministry wherever they need Centre’s intervention in dealing with the issues such as fishing jetties or other structures in the ports.
Thiru. Baalu asked the Port Chairmen to undertake frequent visits to all areas of their respective ports to supervise the security measures. He also directed the port authorities to involve the port employees and make them a part of all the security structures like Port Safety Committees and Advisory Board on Security, etc. The Minister also asked the port authorities to carry out awareness programmes for the local community involving the public, schools and colleges and take locals into confidence, as far as possible, while implementing the security measures.
Thiru. Baalu said that mock drills should be carried out at regular intervals and attention should also be given to fire fighting apparatus. He said that ports should be cleared off junk like idle boats, railway wagons and other such objects which are not in use including the dilapidated structures.
It was emphasised at the meeting that all Major Ports should be ready with Disaster Management Plans and should also form Quick Reaction Teams in case of any eventuality.