India, with vast coastal border of 7516 kms. covering nine coastal States and four Union Territories, poses serious security issues and challenges. After the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11, the entire coastal security scenario of the country has been thoroughly reviewed by the Government at various levels. The National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS) against threats for the coastal security has been constituted under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary.
For securing the coastline, police of all coastal States/UTs, State administrations, Indian Navy, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and other Central Ministries are working in coordination. Nevertheless the task of securing India's vast coastline is immense.The proposal of the Coastal Security Scheme (Phase-II), formulated on the basis of vulnerability/gap analysis carried out by the coastal States and UTs in consultation with the Coast Guard was approved by the Government on 24 September 2010 for implementation from 1 April 2011 for a period of five years. The Scheme is expected to provide support to coastal States/Union Territories to upgrade their coastal security apparatus.
The financial outlay of the scheme is Rs.115491.20 lakh ($230 mn) for non-recurring component and Rs.42500.00 lakh ($85 mn) for recurring expenditure. The salient features in the proposal include setting up of new 131 coastal police stations equipped with 180 boats, 60 jetties, 35 rigid inflatable boats(12 for Lakshadweep and 23 for A&N islands only), 10 large vessels (for A&N Islands only), 131 four wheelers and 242 motorcycles. A special provision of 60 jetties with up-gradation of the existing ones has been made in the new Coastal Security Scheme (Phase-II).
There are 12 major ports and around 200 minor ports in the country. The 12 major ports are International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) compliant and are subject to security audit once in two years. However, there is no such mechanism of security audit for the non-major ports. Apart from 12 major ports, 53 minor/non-major ports and 5 shipyards in the country are ISPS compliant.
Key projects that have been initiated over the last one and half year include
• Fast patrol vessels (14 Nos.)
• Interceptor Boats (20 Nos.)
• Offshore Patrol Vessels (7 Nos.)
• Fast Interceptor Crafts (hiring) (2 Nos.)
• Coast Guard Maritime Patrol Aircraft (6 Nos.)
• Procurement of Coastal Surveillance Radars (120 Units)
• Creation of the National Maritime Domain Awareness Grid (MDA)
• Procurement of 6 light helicopters for Surveillance and reconnaissance.
• Sensors for Directorate of Lighthouses and Light ships order for coastal sensors (Awarded to SAAB – November 2010– $11 mn)