KOCHI: Central agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau, have carried out a detailed security audit of Munambam harbour, one of the major fishing harbours in the state, in a bid to plug the loopholes in coastal security.
The harbour, which sees a footfall of over 1,000 people and handles over 400 fishing boats a day, has been placed under the priority watchlist of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after repeated incidents of human trafficking were reported there. Fort Kochi Coastal police station Inspector Sunukumar B said the team of Central agencies assessed the security measures, mainly the surveillance system, implemented at the harbour. It is learnt the team recommended setting up watchtowers and more high-mast lights.
“Surveillance has been spruced up at the harbour by installing 14 CCTV cameras. We have also put in place a mechanism to monitor the workers of boats coming from other states like Tamil Nadu,” said M S Saju, Joint Director (Fisheries) and member-secretary of the Munambam Fishing Harbour Management Society (MFHMS).
“All workers from other states have to furnish their details, including identification document, to the Munambam police station. The boat owners have been directed to provide proper accommodation to workers from other states, instead of letting them stay in the harbour or nearby places,” he said.
Saju said the harbour staff have been instructed to take action against trespassers. “We are coordinating with the agencies concerned and the state police to enhance security at the harbour,” he said. Police officials said the audit was not specific for Munambam but meant for all other harbours in the state.