The Government will over the next few days finalise marine security blueprint that will put in place a coastal command structure to enhance protection of the country’s 7,516 km-long coastline.
The move is part of the overhaul of security apparatus in the aftermath of the November 26 terror strikes.
At the top of the command structure would be a National Maritime Security Adviser to draw up policies, coordinate and regulate activities of more than half-a-dozen agencies such as customs, shipping, state police, fisheries etc.
It will also put a formal seal of approval on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to hold the Coast Guard as the single-point authority for coastal security.
“The ministries of home and defence were asked to fine-tune the blueprint by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) at the last meeting… It should be cleared at the next meeting,” a senior minister told HT. He said state governments — responsible for policing sea up to three km from the coast — have been consulted.
Meanwhile, the defence ministry has asked the Coast Guard to hire shipping vessels rather than wait for the long-drawn process of acquisitions and boat-building, an official said. The home ministry has issued similar instructions to 13 coastal states and union territories.