PARADIP: Even as the arrest of a suspected Al Qaeda operative from Cuttack district has brought Odisha under the scanner, there is no sign of tightening of coastal security in Jagatsinghpur district.
Jagatsinghpur, with a 48-km-long coastline, has three Marine police stations at Paradip, Jatadhari and Bandar. Not only do these police stations suffer from lack of adequate personnel, but also do not have the required number of boats to patrol the coastline.
The State Government has sanctioned 83 police personnel for the three police stations - 29 for Paradip, 27 each for Jatadhari and Bandar. While Paradip has full strength, Jatadhari is managing the show with just eight personnel and Bandar has 13. As a result, the existing personnel in Jatadhari and Bandar police stations are overburdened.
Of the three police stations, only Paradip has patrolling boats. In 2010, the Government had provided 12-tonne capacity power boat and two more five-tonne capacity power boats to Paradip marine police station.
As per Government instruction, these boats had to patrol 150 km coastline every month and 1,800 km every year. However, patrolling is not being carried out regularly. Currently, there are two boats and one of them has been rendered defunct due to lack of maintenance. Another boat has been diverted to Ramchandi marine police station in Puri district.
Jagatsinghpur district is considered a sensitive area as far as coastal security is concerned as it houses mega industries like IOCL, Essar and Paradip Port.
SDPO Manoj Kumar Mahant said there is an acute shortage of staff in marine police stations. In the absence of residential facilities near the police stations, no new staff are being recruited, he said, adding that the arms supplied to them are outdated.