The proposal for setting up seven new coastal police stations in Mumbai and Konkan has been stuck with the Union government for the past year.
The state government cleared the proposal for the new police stations nearly a year ago and it also received the nod of the coast guard (CG). However, the file is yet to be cleared by the Union government, a senior Mumbai police officer told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The 26/11 terror attack was a wake-up call for the state and the Union home department, who realised the deficiency in marine policing. A plan was mooted to set up coastal police stations in two phases — 12 in the first phase and seven in the second one.
The officer said as per the earlier proposal for phase 2, Mumbai was to get only one new coastal police station. However, it was reworked to ensure that there were two new stations as it was difficult for the Mumbai police to patrol a coastline of 140km, he said.
The inspector general of police (Konkan Range) office then sent the new plan to the director general of police’s (DGP) office and to the state home ministry.
“After the coast guard also approved the new plan, the file was sent to the Union home ministry, where it has been stuck for a while,” the officer said.
The officer said they would decide on the location of the two new coastal police stations after receiving the final nod. “These stations won’t be just for the purpose of patrolling. They will also serve as a base for launching operations in the future,” the officer said.
Currently, the Port Zone, which looks after the coastal security of Mumbai, is divided into four police stations: Yellow Gate, Wadala, Sewree and Mumbai Sagari. After the 26/11 attack, coastal policing was upgraded with 27 new patrol boats and new recruitment.