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State blames Centre's apathy for poor coastal security

Sources from the state home department allege that the Ministry of Home Affairs has put its coastal security plan on the back burner

Officials from the state home department returned empty-handed after a recent meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs over beefing up security along the city’s coastline by constructing additional police stations.

A police team patrols Girgaum chowpatty. File pic
A police team patrols Girgaum chowpatty. File pic

Sources from the state government alleged that the centre had put its coastal security plan in the cold storage and all they received were hollow assurances at last week’s meeting. This was the third such meeting between the officials from the state and centre.

Officials from the state claimed the centre cited coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms as the major hurdle for issuance of permission for construction of additional police stations. The proposal to beef up security along the city’s coastline was chalked after the 26/11 terrorists attacks.

“The centre also cited lack of availability of land, regardless of the fact that we insisted it was not the case. Despite repeated efforts, they refuse to grant further permission for Phase II of the project,” said a senior home official.

The state officials also brought up the issue of construction of jetties. Many of the jetties are stuck due to lack of coordination within departments of CRZ clearances, said officials.

During the meeting in the national capital, the state was asked to pull up its socks and speed up the construction work of the proposed police stations.

The state, on its part, informed them that slow CRZ clearances were delaying the construction work. “In as many as three meetings, we have requested them for faster approvals. But the centre just does not care,” said a senior home department official.

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No of police stations planned in Phase I as part of the coastal security project

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No of police stations planned in Phase II of the project

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No of police stations actually completed from Phase I along the city’s coastline

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