He also said for the first time that all the islands in the country have been surveyed and many important decisions are made on the basis of the reports received in this regard.
Shah said this during a meeting of the Interior Ministry’s Advisory Committee, which discussed various aspects of the country’s coastal security.
A lack of surveillance along the coast allowed 10 terrorists to travel to Mumbai from Pakistan and carry out the worst terrorist attack ever in India on November 26, 2008, which left 166 people dead.
Since then, the Center has overhauled the coastal security apparatus by establishing a robust multi-level surveillance system along the country’s 7,517 km of coastline.
Coastal security was discussed at an Advisory Committee meeting held today. All members have made suggestions to further strengthen it. Under the leadership of Prime Minister @narendramodi ji, we are working to making coastal security impenetrable by using technology and coordinating with all states and other stakeholders, ”Shah said in a Hindi tweet.
India has a vast coastline of 7,516 km touching 13 states and Union territories. The country also has 1,197 islands.
Shah said that according to the guidance given by the prime minister, the Interior Ministry has been working in recent years towards further strengthening coastal security and that more can be done with the suggestions of all stakeholders, according to one. official press release.
The ministry is seriously assessing the challenges facing coastal security, he added.
Shah said that based on the suggestions made at the meeting, appropriate and adequate action would be taken, along with states, to make coastal security impenetrable.
He said that several ministries and agencies have a role in coastal security and that by establishing mutual coordination between them, this will be further strengthened after a meeting with stakeholders chaired by the Prime Minister very soon.
Several important topics were discussed at the meeting and suggestions were made to strengthen coastal security alongside land border security, the statement said.
Members present at the meeting also suggested the formation of a separate cadre of coastal police in all states and surveillance of islands and coastal areas using technology.
Apart from this, an appropriate budget allocation for an overall development of coastal areas and efficient functioning of coastal police stations was emphasized.
For this, the need for good training of police officers and fishermen from a security point of view was also discussed.
The use of technology to prevent collisions between vessels and fishing vessels at sea was also discussed. Members insisted on increasing maritime trade and the blue economy, as well as coastal security, the statement said.
The Indian coastline crosses Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli , Lakshadweep, Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The country has more than a dozen major seaports, including the ports of Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, VO Chidambaranar, Chennai, Kamarajar, Paradip, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata-Haldia, in addition to 227 non-major and simple seaports. mooring points.
During the meeting, a detailed presentation was made by the Department of Border Management of the Ministry of Interior on the measures taken to further strengthen coastal security, during which the completion of the first and second phases of the Coastal security plan and the start of the third phase was discussed.
According to official statistics, about 95 percent of the country’s trade by volume and 70 percent by value is carried out by sea transport.
Coastal security is vital for the country as there are nuclear power plants, missile launch centers, defense installations, and oil facilities along the coast.
India’s long coastline presents a variety of security concerns, including the possible landing of weapons and explosives in isolated areas of the coast, the infiltration of anti-national elements, the use of the sea and islands for criminal activities. and the smuggling of consumer and intermediate goods via the sea route, an official said.
The absence of physical barriers on the coast and the presence of vital industrial and defense facilities near the coast also increase their vulnerability to illegal cross-border activities, the official added.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are regularly issued to coastal States and Union territories for better coordination between stakeholders.