As part of the efforts to further beef up the country’s coastal security, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is working on a plan to carry out a 360 degree profiling of the vessels plying the Indian waters.
It envisages a process wherein the data regarding the identification and background info on the owners and the workers are stored in a smart chip fitted on the boats, which the MHA officials believe can successfully plug a security breach.
In the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the ministry had come up with a proposal to have a three-tier security ring along the coastline, with the help of the Marine Police, the Coast Guard and the Navy.
The security profiling will cover two categories of boats -- which measure over 20m in length and the smaller ones. Ministry officials appearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs said the smaller boats would have colour-coding and a Radio Frequency Identification (RF-ID) tags,which will be attached to it.
The RF-ID tag will help in tracking the movement of the boat, while a hi-tech chip will have information regarding the people and cargo on board. “We have set up a pilot project. It is being run in two places - one is Porbandar in Gujarat and in Odisha. We are firming up the technologies for that, whether it is the vessel identification technology or whatever. There are two technologies which the Navy and the Coast Guard are working on,” Secretary, Border management told the panel.
He also said some states were exploring the possibility of raising a separate cadre for Coastal Police but the Centre was yet to issue clear directives in this regard. The official, however, admitted that Maharashtra had been asked to conceive a separate Marine Police Force in the state.
The panel in its report has recommended that the MHA must provide possible help to the state governments to set up a separate cadre for the coastal police.