State to raise Coastal Reserve Battalion soon

The State will soon raise a Coastal Reserve Battalion (CRB) in order to fully secure its 300-km coastline.

The move comes after the Union government formulated a plan over the last few months to set up at least one CRB in every state having a coast. The Centre felt the coastal regions in the country did not have adequate security apparatus. The CRBs will be raised along the lines of the Indian Reserve Battalions, which are present in most of the 29 states.

The CRBs will come up in nine major coastal states and three union territories. Accordingly, the Centre earlier this year wrote letters to all state governments, seeking their opinion on the formation of CRBs.

The Director General and Inspector General of Police, Lalrokhuma Pachau, said the government had received the letter and it had to decide on approving a CRB.
“We have received the correspondence from the Centre in this regard. They have requested us to recruit for and raise a battalion for our coastal security. The coastline is an important part of our security system,” he told Deccan Herald.

Pachau said that once the administrative approval for setting up coastal police stations was received, the CRB will be another addition to the security cover for the State’s coastline.

Bhaskar Rao, the Inspector General of Police (Internal Security) and in-charge of Karnataka Coastal Police, also confirmed that the government had received the correspondence for its consideration. “The letter says Centre and the State will have to share the cost of raising the battalion,” Rao explained.

It is said the Centre and states will have to share in the 50:50 ratio the total cost of raising the battalion. Rao said the shortage of manpower in securing the coastlines across the states was the reason for decision on raising the battalions across the country. “We will spread the battalion across the entire coastline. We are, however, yet to decide where to locate the headquarters,” he said.

While most large states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, are likely to set up two battalions each for their coastline, Karnataka, which has a smaller coastline, will raise only one.

A battalion of armed forces can generally range anywhere between 300 and 1,000 personnel.

The Karnataka CRB, along with that of other states, are likely to be finalised by the Centre after it receives the opinions of all states having a coastline.

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