India approves Rs 7.42b for maritime security
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: India on Friday approved a Rs 7.42 billion plan to strengthen maritime security by increasing patrolling and surveillance in the coastal areas.
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the plan was worked out by the Home Ministry, costing Rs 4 billion and a recurring expenditure of Rs 1.11 billion. He said the scheme included the establishment of specialised maritime police stations to deal with maritime offences. Home Minister Shivraj Patil briefed the meeting on the situation in Kashmir and the Naxalite-affected areas, Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee said another proposal was to strengthen the coastguard organisations to protect national interests in coastal areas and the meeting decided to have additional coastal boats costing Rs 3.42 billion with a recurring expenditure of Rs 26 million in this regard, he said. The minister said that while protection in the high seas was vested with the Indian Navy, between 10 and 30 nautical miles was with the coastguards and from the shores to five nautical miles with the coastal police as well as the coastguards.