The state home department seems to have learnt no lessons from the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Considering that the 11 terrorists sneaked into the city through its vulnerable coastline, two-and-a-half years down the line there are just five patrolling boats with the state home department to man the state’s 720-km coastline. What’s more, these boats have no trained manpower either.
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) for the year 2010 has made it clear – Maharashtra is still in danger of threats from the coast. The report was tabled in the state legislature on Thursday.
The reason/delays on the part of the State Intelligence Department (SID) to procure the 29 patrolling boats and interceptor boats were due to deficiencies in the tendering process and ultimately lack of staff, the report says. “Of the Rs 60.50 crore drawn on abstract contingent bills in March 2009, Rs 34.02 cr remained unutilised for 21 months and Rs 26.48 cr was rendered unfruitful due to non-supply of boats,” said Yashwant Kumar, auditor general (audit), Nagpur who drew the report.
The report said the boats were part of equipment worth Rs 127 crore that the group of ministers had decided to purchase as a part of the strengthening and modernisation programme of the police force in December 2008.
“Only five boats were supplied as of September 2010 and no trained manpower to operate them,” the report said. The government has accepted CAG observations and agreed that the manufacturer has given them only five boats. The remaining will be delivered this month.