Baalu for bomb disposal sqauds at ports

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New Delhi, Jul 30 (UNI) Shipping Minister T R Baalu today reviewed the security measures at major ports in the wake of Bangalore and Ahmedabad terror attacks, and called for a bomb disposal squad, a dog squad and a quick reaction team at every port.

''Ports should also be cleared off junk like idle boats, railway wagons and other such objects which are not in use, including the dilapidated structures,'' he said at a meeting attended by the chairmen of various ports and representatives from the Home Ministry, CISF, Customs and Navy, besides the officials of his ministry.

''Port authorities should immediately approach the ministry wherever they needed Centre's intervention in dealing with fishing jetties or other structures in the ports,'' he said.

The Union Minister also reviewed the implementation of International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS Code) and urged the port authorities to scrupulously follow the existing guidelines.

He also asked them to regularly hold meetings with the local police, Coast Guard, Navy, CISF and other security agencies.

Emphasising the need for disaster management plans, Mr Baalu said mock drills should be carried out at regular intervals and attention given to fire fighting apparatus.

He also directed the chairmen of the ports to undertake frequent visits to all areas of their respective ports to supervise the security measures.

The authorities should involve the port employees and make them part of all the security structures such as port safety committees and Advisory Board on Security,'' Mr Baalu said.

Awareness programmes should also be carried out for the local community involving the public, schools and colleges. The local people should be taken into confidence, as far as possible, while implementing the security measures, he said.

Other security-related demands of the ports should also be looked into on priority basis, he added.

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