Five years after ambitious plans were made to thwart sea-borne terror attacks in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, the Paradip port in Odisha has been brought under a marine commando security net.
The port is one of the most important and sensitive sea cargo facilities in eastern part of India and is located near the confluence of river Mahanadi in the Bay of Bengal.
A commando trained squad of thirty Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel have begun patrolling in the off-shore sea waters that touch the facility.
Officials said the port authorities had recently got the CISF a fast patrol vessel which is now being used by the commandos of the paramilitary to go on sea-borne on surveillance missions.
The personnel, however, only patrol the coast areas while securing the farther waters is the task of the Coast Guard followed by Indian Navy.
This is the first marine commando squad of CISF which has gone sea-borne even as it guards about a dozen of other ports like the JNPT in Mumbai and Mundra in Gujarat.
Enhancement of the coastal security has been an important subject since the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks were launched from the sea after terrorists sneaked in the western metropolis through this route. A select squad of CISF personnel for this job has been trained in commando tactics, amphibious operations and sea survival skills by the Navy at its training school in Kochi.
The commandos, officials said, patrol the sea at different times of the day and also based on intelligence inputs generated for maritime areas.
The squad has been equipped with INSAS rifles and reconnaissance gadgets like thermal radars and binoculars and rescue devices.
The Paradip port is one of the major ports of India serving the eastern and central parts of the country and its hinterland extends to the states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
The port mainly deals with bulk cargo apart from other clean cargoes and there has been a phenomenal growth in the traffic handled by this port in the last decade.