Centre urged to provide customized boats for Odisha coast

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has urged the Home Ministry to supply adequate number of customized boats for surveillance of its coastal belt.

The request was made by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi to the Director, Home Ministry at the first meeting of the newly formed State Level Committee (SLC) for coastal security at the State Secretariat here today.

Padhi also requested the Ministry to do adequate provisions for running, patrolling and maintenance of the boats.

Taking stock of the functioning of marine police, chief secretary directed the respective departments to intensify the training activities for marine police and make them robust for sea patrolling and sea chasing. He also directed to take up intensive awareness building activities for the fishermen community about the security measure they need to follow while going into the sea.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Principal Secretary, State Home department, Asit Tripathy said ‘As of now, 18 marine police stations functioning in the state have 13 boats. But the boats supplied do not fit to Odisha coast and creeks. They also need large jetties. The boats need to be customized so that the requirement for jetties can be reduced and the boats can also ply in the creeks.”

Tripathy further said identity cards are being issued to the fishermen going into the sea. There are around 3 lakh fishermen of whom 2,60,000 have been provided with identity cards. The fishermen must carry the cards with them while going for fishing into the sea.

“Apart from that steps have been taken for installation of Distress Alert Transmitters (DAT) in the sea going boats. The 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. We need around 8000 such DAT machines for the boats,” Tripathy added.

It was revealed in the meeting that the Fisheries & Animal Resource Development department has already supplied around 2000 DAT machines. “These machines are very helpful to spot the fishermen in distress and come to their rescue. The department will supply machines of all boats very soon” Tripathy pointed out
DGP KB Singh, secretary Fisheries & Animal Resource Development Bishnupada Sethi, Special Secretary, Home, Lalit Kumar Das along with senior officers from Home Ministry, Indian Navy, Coastal Guard, Customs, and Intelligence were present at the meeting.