All types of vessels, from fishing boats to yachts and catamarans, will now have to be registered with the Maharashtra Maritime Board. This move is to ensure better surveillance and identification along the high seas.
In a coastal security review meet, via videoconferencing, held at the state secretariat on January 22, along with eight other states and Cabinet Secretary KM Chandra-shekhara, it was decided that all boats, including those weighing less than 15 tonnes and so far excluded from registrations, will have to conform to a uniform system. Boats weighing more than 15 tonnes are registered with the DG (Shipping).
The state government has demanded that more jetties be built, including two or three in Mumbai, to improve surveillance.
“We asked for faster delivery of the 28 speedboats from the Centre and to build more jetties along the coastline,’’ said PK Jain, principal secretary, Home department. He added that registration of boats would help in identification.
Maharashtra will also get 28 boats and funds from the Centre to build additional 12 police stations under the Coastal Security Scheme. Under the scheme, the boats will also be fitted with transponders to ensure better tracking of vessels.
“We want all boats to have Distress Alert Transponder System to help us identify genuine boats,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
The state was also asked to provide all fishermen with valid identification cards by March.