Western coast vulnerable to terror strikes: Rajnath
Addressing the meeting of Western Zonal Council, the Home Minister said there was a need for better centre-state coordination for ensuring foolproof coastal security in the country.
"The west coast of India, while being among economically most developed, is vulnerable to terrorist strikes," he said.
The meeting was chaired by Singh and attended by Chief Ministers and administrators of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The Home Minister said in the light of the prevailing security environment, it is central government's priority to bolster coastal security through a series of measures, including modernisation of police forces, better surveillance and acquisition of modern equipment and assets.
The Council reviewed issues relating to coastal security, internal security, issuance of bio-metric identity cards to fishermen and issue of card readers, formulation of plans for countering terrorism, modernisation of police force etc, an official release said.
Issues related to bringing back Indian fishermen, many of them belonging to Gujarat, languishing in Pakistan jails, education and Aadhaar, pollution control and environmental related issues were also discussed, the statement said.
Out of the 21 items discussed today, most were resolved in the meeting. The Council also reviewed the progress of implementation of the recommendations made in the last meeting.
Zonal Council is a forum for the Centre and the states to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences on issues related to health, security and social welfare. The states have been divided into five zones and each of it has its council comprising the chief minister, two ministers and the chief secretary of each state.
The zonal councils are headed by the Union Home Minister and each zone nominates one chief minister as its vice-chairman on rotation basis.
The zonal councils provide a forum where irritants between the Centre and states and amongst the states themselves can be resolved through free and frank discussion and consultations. Being advisory bodies, there is full scope for free exchange of views at these meeting.