Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the issues related to coastal security with the officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Inter-State Council Secretariat (ISCS) and Registrar General of India.
Shri Susheel Kumar, Secretary (Border Management) briefed about the status of coastal security and measures being taken in this regard. Department of Border Management made a detailed presentation about coastal security issues, which included coastal policing, patrolling in territorial waters, contiguous zone and Exclusive Economic Zone, empowerment of coastal police stations to investigate crimes committed in EEZ, training of coastal police, setting up of Marine Police Training Institute in Gujarat, security of 26 single-point moorings, security of 12 major ports and 203 non-major ports in the coastal States/UTs.
During the meeting, safety and security of fishermen, issue of cards to them and colour coding of fishing vessels were also reviewed under the Phase – I of Coastal Security Scheme (2005 – 11) and Phase – II of CSS (2011-16) with a financial outlay of Rs. 1,580 crore. The Home Minister was also informed about the status of 131 coastal police stations sanctioned under CSS Phase – II, out of which 108 coastal security police stations were already operationlized.
The issues of coastal mapping of coastal police stations, local police stations, fishing landing points, ports, customs and immigration check posts on the coastal area map of the States / UTs were also discussed in details. The matters relating to tracking of vessels / boats and holistic development of 20 islands identified out of a total of 1382 offshore islands were also discussed.
Ms. Naini Jayaseelan, Secretary, ISCS explained that during the meetings of Zonal Councils, some of the coastal states had raised the issues of cards being issued to the fishermen and the card readers used by the coastal police. The representative of RGI explained that the operational issues were being sorted out and very shortly the time-lines for removing difficulties and the use of cards and the card readers will be finalized. The Home Minister directed that all the issues related to biometric cards and card readers should be sorted out immediately in consultation with the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), PSUs manufacturing these cards/card readers, concerned Ministries/ Departments of the Union Government and 13 coastal States /UTs. The Union Home Minister also directed that a definite time-frame for issuing the remaining cards to all the fishermen should be fixed.
The Home Minister mentioned that the issues relating to coastal security discussed during the Consultative Committee of MHA at Goa meeting and items in this regard pointed out by the Standing Committee of Parliament should be addressed at the earliest and the Action Taken Report be submitted immediately. He further mentioned that these issues will be discussed with the concerned states in a meeting on June 16, 2016 at Mumbai, therefore all necessary actions should be completed during this week.
Shri Kiren Rijiju, MoS (Home), Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, Shri Susheel Kumar, Secretary (BM), Ms Naini Jayaseelan, Secretary (ISCS) and senior officers of MHA attended the meeting.