BHUBANESWAR: The state government today requested the Centre to supply adequate number of boats to strengthen coastal security of Odisha.
The issue was discussed at the first meeting of the newly formed State Level Committee (SLC) for coastal security presided over chief secretary AP Padhi.
Issues including strengthening of coastal security, distribution of identity cards to sea going fishermen and fixing of distress alert transmitters in the boats going inside the sea were discussed in the meeting.
Reviewing the progress made so far, the Chief Secretary requested the Director, Ministry of Home Affairs present in the meeting to supply adequate number of boats customising them for Odisha coast.
The boats being supplied today by the Ministry do not fit at many places in Odisha coast. Padhi further requested them to provide adequate provisions for running, patrolling and maintenance of the boats.
Taking stock of the functioning of marine police, the Chief Secretary directed the respective departments to intensify the training activities. Padhi said there should be intensive awareness
building activities for the fishermen community about the security measures they need to follow while going into the sea.
Principal secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy told media persons that as of now 18 marine police stations are functioning and the State has got 13 boats. Stating that the boats supplied do not fit to Odisha coast and creeks, Tripathy said the boats need to be customised so that the requirement for jetties can be reduced and the boats can also ply in the creeks.
Tripathy said the state government has so far issued identity cards to 2.6 lakh out of three lakh fishermen. He said that the fishermen must carry the identity cards while venturing into the sea. Steps have also been taken for installation of Distress Alter Transmitters (DAT) in the sea-going boats, he said.
Fishermen can send immediate signal about any distress condition inside the sea so that coast guard or naval force can come to their rescue immediately, he said and added that 8000 such DAT machines are required for the boats. The department of Fisheries and Animal Resource Development has already supplied around 2000 DAT machines.
Director General of Police BK Singh, Secretary in the Fisheries and Animal Resource Development department Bishnupada Sethi, senior officers from Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian Navy, Coast
Guard, Customs and Intelligence Bureau participated in the discussion.