KARWAR/MANGALURU: Security along the State coast has been stepped up following the hideous blowing up of a Pakistani boat off Gujrat coast recently.
The Navy, Coast Guard and the Coastal police have been taking up sorties in their respective jurisdiction.
Dakshina Kannada and Udupi coasts have got additional eyes and ears of the fishermen to guard the coast along with the security forces.
There are more than three lakh fishermen in both the districts who have been on the alert ever since the attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008. The Coast Guard and the Coastal Police have been in constant touch with the fishermen.
Fishermen forum leaders in both the districts told Express that their youths have been on the guard both ways -- on shore and when on fishing expeditions.
“They can identify any boat that is alien to the Karnataka coast (or even Kerala and Goa for that matter). We have sensitised the boat owners not to lend their boats to any outsiders or agree to load any kind of cargo on their vessels without their knowledge,” a leader said.
The Coastal Security Police (CSP) officials have also been holding regular meetings with the fishermen.
The Coast Guard of India (CGI) personnel are on high alert here. G S Ralhi, Commanding Officer, Karwar, told Express that the CGI has heightened security measures.
“Our boats are patrolling extensively for the past 15 days. The Coastal Security Police of the state government also are patrolling regularly and they are doing a wonderful job. The patrolling is done round-the-clock,” he added.Ralhi also said coordination between the forces is much better than earlier.
“Coastal police and Coast Guard do regular exercises to ensure security. Boats and interceptor crafts are patrolling day and night. Around 200 nautical miles of the coast is being taken care of at different levels by the forces,” he said.
Ralhi said no special guidelines have been received from the Centre following the Pakistani boat incident. “Whenever such an incident happens, the security is further tightened. Aerial part is also taken care of. We have helicopters in Mangaluru and surveillance is being done,” he added.
When asked about Karwar port’s security, he said he is concerned as both fishing boats and merchant ships are allowed there. “In other places, there are exclusive slots for boats and ships.,” he said. “Somebody may take advantage of this situation. But now, the ort officials are also taking security measures,” the commanding officer said.