'Draft coastal security bill ready'

Five years after the dastardly attack on Mumbai, the Central government has readied a legislation, which seeks to improve coordination among more than 10 Central and state government agencies involved in the coastal operations in order to prevent recurrence of 26/11.

“A draft coastal security bill to enhance coordination among multiple state and Central agencies is ready,” Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi said.

The agencies involved in coastal operations include Navy and Coast Guard at one end and police, customs and fisheries at the other. As coordination among multiple Central and state agencies remained one of the challenges for coastal security, it was finally decided to come up with a legislation, which would be steered by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Following the Mumbai attack, Indian Navy was designated as the lead agency responsible for coastal security, assisted by the Coast Guard. In the absence of a legal structure in place, the two forces faced a tough task in convincing other agencies on improving their coastal operations and bring them on board.

Four joint operation centres were opened at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi and Port Blair, which are being manned by the Navy-Coast Guard personnel.

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