Cops rope in 550 vol­un­teers to safe­guard city’s coast­line

MORE SE­CU­RITY Form po­lice mi­tras and sagar rak­shak dals with res­i­dents of vil­lages along coast

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­

In an ef­fort to keep city coast­line un­der sur­veil­lance, the Navi Mum­bai spe­cial branch has re­cently roped in over 300 peo­ple from the coastal vil­lages.

Ear­lier, the po­lice had only 230 vol­un­teers to as­sist them in safe­guard­ing coast­line. Now, the num­ber of vol­un­teers has in­creased to around 550. Of the 104-km Navi Mum­bai coast­line, 60 kms is sur­rounded by the Ara­bian Sea and the rest are along creeks.

Suresh Men­gade, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (spe­cial branch), said: “We have around 35 vil­lages along the coast­line. We have formed sev­eral teams of po­lice mi­tras and sagar rak­shak dals with the res­i­dents of the vil­lages.”

“The vol­un­teers share in­for­ma­tion on What­sApp groups. They have been asked to call se­nior of­fi­cers if they no­tice some­thing un­usual along the coast­line. We will con­duct reg­u­lar meet­ings to train them,” he said.

Hin­dus­tan Times had ear­lier re­ported that the strength of Navi Mum­bai spe­cial branch is 77, which is not suf­fi­cient to guard such a huge coast­line. This team also does not have enough equip­ment and weapons.

They have only seven speed boats for pa­trolling in the bor­der ar­eas. The num­ber of bul­let­proof jack­ets and life jack­ets is 14 and nine re­spec­tively. They have only eight ri­fles.

Men­gade said, “Al­though we have lim­ited re­sources, we do not have any prob­lem in safe­guard­ing the coast­line. Apart from the vol­un­teers, we are also in touch with gram pan­chay­ats mem­bers. We have also alerted res­i­dents to con­tact us on coastal helpline 1093 if they find any­thing un­usual along the coast­line.”

Ac­cord­ing to Men­gade, the po­lice are also work­ing in tan­dem with coast guards and In­dian Navy to en­sure that no one get any chance to smug­gle things and to plan un­to­ward in­ci­dents in the city. “Around two weeks ago, we con­ducted a drive to test the com­mu­ni­ca­tion among the In­dian Navy, coast guard and the po­lice. We checked if we all can com­mu­ni­cate in the same fre­quency in case of emer­gency and we were suc­cess­ful. Prob­a­bly, it was done for the first time in Navi Mum­bai coast­line,” he added.

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