Coastal security in India: 75 ports have 'zero' security
Bengaluru, Aug 3: It appears that India has learnt nothing from the 26/11 attack. The terrorists came in through the seas and carried out an attack in Mumbai which left the nation stunned. It was debated, discussed and assured that coastal security would be given top most priority as terrorists are able to enter easily through the seas.
How has India fared in handling coastal security? Going by a report of the Intelligence Bureau, the picture is grim. There are 75 ports in the country which are not even guarded.
Coastal security grim in India
The coastal security in so far as the major ports are not a worry. There are 12 major ports in the country which are heavily secured.
However, the problem arises in the case of the smaller ports. There are around 75 small ports in the country, the audit report by the Intelligence Bureau states.
It has been found that these 75 ports which are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry, Goa, Andaman Nicobar Islands, Kerala and Odisha. The highest number of smaller ports (21) which remain without security are in Gujarat.
There are 45 ports in the country which are non-operational. These ports are used as landing points for jetties. Although the activity is minimal, security cannot be blank in such ports, the report also states.
Basic security lacking
Post 26/11 a series of suggestions were made to enhance security at the coastal belts. The ports in particular had to install scanners, a proper record book and CCTVs. However in many of the major ports these measures have not been taken.
Moreover the report states that there is lax security when comes to scanning employees at a port.
The employees are allowed to walk in as and when they like without being checked. It is mandatory that even employees are checked at ports, but the same is not done in several major ports, the report states.
Gujarat and Maharashtra are the problem areas
Almost every report on coastal security have mentioned Gujarat and Maharashtra to be the problem area. The coast along Gujarat and Maharashtra are most prone to smuggling activity. There have been two recent incidents of drug smugglers trying to gain access through Gujarat.
The 26/11 attack also largely exposed the poor security along the Maharashtra coast as well. The audit report makes a mention of the ports at Maharashtra and Gujarat and also questions the lack of security.