The state government on Tuesday demanded a unified agency for coastal security.
Speaking at a chief ministers’ conference on internal security called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said a unified agency would help monitor and prevent terrorist activities through the sea route.
The meeting was called in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack on November 26 last.
Currently, the coast is guarded by the Navy, the Coast Guard and state Marine Police. Till 26/11, there was no specific mechanism for proper coordination among these authorities.
Chavan demanded that the Centre formulate a separate law aimed at bringing coordination in the functioning of various security agencies, rather than just deciding their areas of jurisdiction.
The state government sought Rs 38 crore from the Centre for its own commando unit and modernisation of the existing anti-terrorism unit and intelligence agency.
It plans to use Rs 14 crore to buy modern weapons and communication devices for Force One, a commando unit on the lines of the National Security Guard in Maharashtra.
And with the rest of the money — Rs 24 crore — the state government wants to modernise its Anti-Terrorism Squad and state intelligence unit.
Chavan said the state police have already set up a cyber monitoring unit to assist the intelligence department in tracking the activities of terrorists. Besides, a State Industrial Security Force will be set up on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force, which will provide security at places such as five-star hotels, malls, and other commercial as well as religious places.