The first ever ‘National Workshop on Marine Policing’ was hosted by Coastal Security Group (CSG), Tamil Nadu on 28 June 2013 at Tamil Nadu Police Academy, Chennai. This one day Workshop was inaugurated by Shri S.K.Upadhyay, IPS, DGP/Director/Fire & Rescue. Shri K.Ramanujam, IPS, DGP Tamil Nadu was the Chief Guest. The Workshop was attended by representatives from the Coastal Security Groups of all the Coastal States of India.
The details of the ‘National Workshop on Marine Policing’:
- Session I: Organization and Functioning of Marine Police in the States – by the Chiefs of Marine Police of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman, Puducherry.
- Session II: Organization and Functioning of Marine Police in the States – by the Chiefs of Marine Police of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa.
- Group Discussion: Thereafter the participants were divided into four groups to discuss the following subjects pertaining to Marine Police and come out with suggestions to improve the functioning of Marine Police. Commodore (Retd) S. Shekhar, M.Phil., Regional Director, National Maritime Foundation, Chennai was the Moderator.
- Group 1: Boat Maintenance.
- Group 2: Human Resource Situation.
- Group 3: Organizational Issues.
- Group 4: Technical Capabilities – Jetties, Communication, Navigation etc.,
- Valedictory Address: by Commodore Amar K. Mahadevan, VSM, Naval Officer in Charge, Tamil Nadu & Puducherry.
Highlights of the National Workshop on Marine Policing:
- Border States like Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu sharing land and/or sea borders with neighboring countries face more challenges in security in areas like harassment of fishermen, human trafficking, smuggling, infiltration by terrorists etc.,
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands (572 islands with a coastline of 1962 KM) are also facing similar problems like border states in addition to poaching.
- Most of the States conduct joint exercises with Indian Navy, Coast Guard to improve coastal security.
- Karnataka uses Petro Cards to fuel their Interceptor Boats to avoid time delay; online monitoring of fuel consumption is being done to ensure transparency.
- Gujarat conducts Fishermen Awareness Programme; also Fishermen watch Groups are activated to collect human intelligence.
- All the states want the fuel costs incurred for Coastal Security to be borne by the Government Of India.
- Most of the States find it difficult to verify Biometric Cards carried by the boat crew at sea as Coastal Security Police (CSP) is not having card readers; Biometric Card Readers or other means of verifying the identity cards must be provided.
- Most of the States find it difficult to carry out their operations only with Interceptor Boats; in addition they also prefer to have Gemini (Inflatable) Boats, All Terrain Vehicles etc.,
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands require larger vessels as they face monsoon from May to October and most of the times the sea is rough; smaller vessels are found unsuitable during rough seas.
- Separate communication channel is needed to communicate with Indian Navy, Coast Guard in addition to Channel 16 VHF.
- Unmanned Aerial Surveillance, Electronic Surveillance is needed in uninhibited islands, marshy lands.
- When Interceptors Boats are supplied to States, seaworthiness must be 100% complied and necessary certification must be obtained from Indian Register of Shipping (IRS).
- Installation of GPS/transponders must be mandatory for all fishing boats/other vessels operating in the coast; this will help to monitor the movement of suspicious vessels.
- Most of the States find it difficult to maintain Interceptor Boats despite having AMC with Boat Suppliers due to lack of support.
- While AMC is framed, respective states must be consulted.
3. Human Resources:
- Most of the States find it difficult to recruit the right candidates from Ex Indian Navy and Ex Coast Guard personnel to man the Interceptor Boats; they even prefer Ex Border Security Force (Water Wing) personnel.
- Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh recruit Coastal Security Home Guards from fishermen community.
- Andhra Pradesh also train their CSP at State Institute of Fisheries Technology (SIFT) in navigation, seamanship in addition to the training provided by Indian Navy and Coast Guard.
- Separate Coastal Security Police Cadre needs to be created.
- Dedicated Coastal Police Training Academy is needed.
- As the work of CSG is similar to the Indian Navy/Coast Guard, incentives like sea duty allowance, free food at sea must be provided.
Thanks to Dr.C.Sylendra Babu, IPS., ADGP/CSG/Tamil Nadu for organizing this first ever National Workshop on Marine Policing at Chennai.
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