The much-hyped coastal police academy, slated to come up at Alibaug to train coastal police, is finding land acquisition a tough task, say senior officers overseeing the project.
The academy was one of the key proposals in the aftermath of the 2008 terror attacks. After deliberations, a site at Alibaug was selected, and in July last year, the proposal was cleared by the state government.
Around 86 acres of land near the sea, a portion of which was under the forest department, was to be allotted for the proposed academy to train a coastal wing of the police to protect Mumbai and Konkan region from terror attacks from the sea.
One of the main reasons to initiate the proposal for a coastal academy was that the Mumbai police acquired a lot of patrolling boats after the November 26 attacks, in which the terrorists came from the sea.
"There was a lot negative feedback from the police
personnel, who were reluctant to take up coastal policing as they had issues like sea sickness," an official from the Mumbai police said.
After this, it was recommended to the state government to start an academy which would train a new branch of coastal police. "Police had communities like the kolis in their mind, as these communities are into fishing in the seas," the official added.
A team of senior police officials from the state also visited the site. "Lot of work needed to be put at the site as there was a nullah which had to be crossed before the land could be reached. Also, there was a huge mountain at the site and setting up infrastructure required a lot of effort," an official who visited the site told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity.
Despite this, the team gave a green light as the place was perfect for training, and even the guardian minister, Sunil Tatkare, took personal interest in the project.
However, when the work of allotting the land for the academy began, the paper work got stuck in red-tapism, and now the officials in the director general of police's office and the Raigad police are running around to get the proposal cleared as the forest department had a lot of conditions which needed to be fulfiled.
Superintendent of police (Raigad) RD Shinde told HT that the academy project has been delayed as the process of land acquisition is still to be completed.
"We are putting up a detailed proposal before the state government, which will forward it to the forest department," he said, adding that he was not sure how long it will take for the proposal to be cleared.