Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapada, Feb 5:
As many as three Marine Police Stations in Odisha’s Kendrapada district set up to guard the coastline are lying defunct owing to shortage of personnel raising a question mark over security and its preparedness to thwart any possible terror attack.
After the 2008 terror attack on Taj Hotel in Mumbai, the Central government had heightened the security of Indian coastlines on war footing.
Several marine police stations were set up across the country of which Kendrapada got three in its share. Since 2010, a bi-annual joint meeting of Navy, Coast guards, state police, fishermen is being held every year to ascertain security threats.
As per the requirements, each marine police station should have strength of 81 police staff, one inspector, six sub-inspectors, six ASIs, 16 havaldars, 48 constables, four miscellaneous and 20 retired Naval staff.
While the total manpower requirement is 303, the current staff in the three stations is 37. Jambu police station has the highest strength with 10 policemen, and 19 marine staff (retired Indian Navy personnel) of which three had been transferred to Puri during Nabakalebara event.
The entire district is dependent on the Jambu police station for marine surveillance as it has an ‘interceptor boat’ to deal with any suspicious vessel in the sea. The Jambu police station was earlier running from a rented building near the boat jetty. However, it has been shifted 5 kms away to a place two years ago, with unapproachable road.
The Talachuan police station has 10 police staff and Tantiapala station has only five police staffers, both the marine police station lack equipment as well as trained staff to nab terrorists at the sea.