Despite a Central government notification that exempts coastal police stations from the mandatory clearance under the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms, at least five police stations, including two along the city’s coastline, are stuck owing to lack of clarity among the authorities.
The need to enhance coastal security and policing came to the fore in the wake of the 26/11 terror attacks. Even as a notification issued by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on January 6, 2011, allows setting up of coastal police stations along the sea, a proposal seeking CRZ clearance for police stations at Sagari I, Sagari II (both in Mumbai), Arnala, Kelwa and Dadar (Raigad district) in Maharashtra was sent to the authorities on December 12, 2013. The authorities are still awaiting a response.
“The construction of a permanent building for these five police stations has been stuck, although they don’t need the CRZ clearance. While there is little awareness among security agencies about the notification, the state government’s ignorance on intervening and putting things in order is also surprising,” said a source from the security establishment, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The construction of three coastal police chowkies in Mumbai -- at Geeta Nagar in Cuffe Parade, Santacruz and Madh in Malad -- is also held up because of the same reason, said the source.
Amitabh Gupta, inspector general, Konkan range, said, “I can only say that all police stations in my area are being operated from rented office. I am not responsible for the buildings.”
Moreover, five other coastal police stations in various parts of Maharashtra are still to get permanent buildings because of various issues.