Mumbai’s 78-km long western coastline will continue to remain vulnerable with the Maharashtra government putting on hold the order it had placed for six high speed boats for patrolling the area.
The lone high speed boat, Koyna, that had arrived in October developed a technical problem after two months of patrolling. Since Decemeber, the Rs 3.5-crore vessel, which was to patrol the coastline from Haji Ali to Gorai, has been out of action. The remaining consignment has been delayed to check if they have a similar technical fault.
The government had placed an order for six high speed boats with the Goa Shipping Yard after the 26/11 terror strikes to secure the city’s coastline. But now, the coastal police have gone back to the earlier practice of patrolling the sea in hired fishing trawlers.
“Koyna had developed a technical problem and has not been in use for the past few months,” said Anant Rane, senior inspector, Versova Sagri police station.
The Goa firm took Koyna for repairs 15 days ago, with the promise to return it in a month.
“The trawlers that are hired do not take more than five days to repair. But Koyna has been non-functional for four months after working for just two months,” said a coastal police officer requesting anonymity.
Madhukar Kohe, deputy commissioner of police (coastal police), said the maintenance contract with Goa Shipping Yard is yet to be finalised. The five new boats would be put on hold till the contract is drawn up.