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We will ensure that there are no loopholes in the coastal security system: Rajnath

Panaji: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government wants to ensure a foolproof coastal security system for the country, union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Monday.

STATEN ISLAND, New York (Aug. 14, 2003)--Seaman Operations Specialist Jason Dailey, sector operator at the Vessel Traffic Center at Coast Guard Activities New York, Staten Island, N.Y. monitors  vessel traffic in the New York Harbor before the blackout darkened the northeast Aug. 14, 2003.  Unlike the many city traffic signals that went out, the VTC had back-up generators and battery power that helped harbor traffic continue to flow freely through the duration of the blackout.  USCG photo PA2 Mike Hvozda

The minister said that senior members of parliament, who are on the parliamentary consultative committee attached to the home ministry, had given suggestions on the issue and his ministry will give these serious thought and take a call on the same.

Rajnath Singh was talking to reporters here after chairing a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee attached to the union home ministry to discuss coastal security.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijuju was also present on the occasion.

“Today (Monday), we had a meeting of the parliamentary committee on coastal-related issues. Our government wants a foolproof coastal security system,” the home minister said.

“Our senior members of parliament gave suggestions and our home ministry will take a call on them after giving it a serious thought,” Rajnath Singh added.

He pointed out that to strengthen the coastal security, one must first consider the country’s coastline as “vulnerable and then work towards plugging the gaps”.

“We should consider that all of our coastline is vulnerable. It is not, but we should consider it that way,” Rajnath Singh said.

“We have ensured coastal security to a large extent, but we want to ensure no loopholes anywhere. Whatever loopholes are there, we will decide on plugging them,” he added.

The Indian mainland has a coastline of approximately 5,700 km. If one considers the coastline of island territories, the Indian coastline adds up to around 7,500 km.

The committee also discussed issues related to maritime security, including the security apparatus on the coast, offshore and high seas.

Rajnath Singh also said that the national committee on strengthening maritime and coastal security will review timely implementation of various proposals and key issues/ matters pertaining to maritime and coastal security.

He also underscored the need for effective coordination among central ministries and agencies and state governments and union territories having a coastline.

Apart from the two central ministers, the meeting was also attended by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, union home secretary L.C. Goyal and other senior officials of the MHA and Indian Coast Guard.

(IANS)

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