The city becomes vulnerable to terror attacks from the sea every monsoon as the coastal police are not equipped to operate in the rough seas. Efforts are now on to beef up police presence along the 114-km-long Mumbai coastline this year.
The Port Zone police, the nodal agency for coastal policing in Mumbai, said the main aim of the two Coastal Police stations is to sanitise the landing points and to keep tabs on illegal activity or entry from these spots.
Since patrolling is stopped during the rains, the landing points on the long coastal stretch, more importantly the mangroves, become vulnerable, police said.
“There are at least 66 small and big landing points along the coast. We have formed police teams that would keep round-the-clock vigil at these places to avoid any untoward incident,” said Tanaji Ghadge, deputy commissioner of police (Port Zone).
Coastal police officials said that apart from the police presence, the Navy and Coast Guard have also been alerted, who would step up their presence and increase the number of rounds in sea patrolling.
The officials added all the agencies would also be keeping a tab on the radar systems to foil any illegal entry of vessels.
The coastal police have a fleet of 24 patrol boats to maintain surveillance over a jurisdiction of 12 nautical miles from the coast, which were provided as a part of enhancement of sea security following the 26/11 terror attacks that rocked Mumbai.
Of the fleet, 19 are interceptor boats which are 13 metres long and used for patrolling, whereas five are amphibious ‘sea legs’, which are capable of operating in the sea and on land and are deployed at city beaches.
However, being under maintenance on most of the occasions, these boats fail to suffice the needs of the police force.