Eight years after terrorists entered the city through its coasts and unleashed a deadly attack, the coastal police wing could finally be getting more equipment to help them function better.
A proposal under an ongoing modernisation project suggests providing the team with hovercraft, thermal cameras and satellite phones; and a marine paramilitary force trained in naval operations.
The latest proposal is for ‘phase 3’ of the project, sources in the know told HT.
The 10-page document was sent to the state for its approval in October this year. “In the first phase, the Mahim Sagari police station was set up and boats for patrolling were procured. In the second phase, the ‘Sagari II’ police station came up and personnel were provided life jackets and permanent buildings,” said a police officer.
The document also proposes setting up 35 ‘special target rooms’ in south Mumbai, and along the eastern and the western coasts of the city. These target rooms will house a team from the paramilitary force that will be armed with high speed boats and hovercraft. Ten of these quick response target rooms will come up in south Mumbai alone, which was ground zero of the attacks in 2008, officials said.
Once the proposal gets a green signal from the state, it will pave the way for personnel to be armed with at least 50 thermal cameras, satellite phones and night vision eyepieces. For patrolling, a battery of high speed boats has been proposed.The upgrade is also likely to include several floating check posts in the harbour and some on land.
“The harbour is wide, but a boat has to take designated route to enter the bay to reach the shores as the sea is rocky. A floating check post would come up at these strategic points from where boats have to enter the city,” said another officer.
Despite these proposals, sources pointed out that the Port Zone of the city police, under which the coastal police stations fall, has been struggling with an old fleet boats that keep breaking down.