SEA PATROL VEHICLES LAY GROUNDED
coastal police, adding that any given time, “only three or four boats are operational”. At present, the operational boats are with the Yellowgate, Sagari 1 and Sagari 2 at Gorai.
In October 2016, a 10-page proposal was submitted to the home department of Maharashtra, which was described by the state as the third phase of a project to modernise the coastal police. The first phase saw a coastal police station set up in Mahim, in 2012 and the procurement of six patrol boats. In the second phase, the Sagari 2 police station was set up in 2013, floating check posts were established and in 2016, life jackets were provided to personnel.
“The coastal police stations are still short-staffed. But recruitment process is going on,” said Padwal. In Sagari 1, the staff strength is 50 even though its sanctioned strength is 750. The sagari police have been operating from the Mahim policemen’s residential quarters since inception in 2007. Work on a coastal police station was started at Mahim Causeway (Reti Bunder), but was stopped in 2015, when it was in the last stage because of a litigation alleging violation of coastal zone regulations. Sagari 2 at Gorai has a sanctioned strength of 300, an actual strength of 120
and at any given time, only 55 police personnel are on duty. They were operating out of six flats at the police quarters in Borivli (West) until 2016 when they shifted to a bungalow in Gorai. The coastal police station at Yellow Gate, which has jurisdiction of the eastern coast of Mumbai till Vashi Bridge including offshore oil fields and platforms, is the only building that belongs to the sagari police.
In the latest move to upgrade the infrastructure of the existing coastal security system, the Maharashtra government has decided to construct marine operation rooms (MOR) at 10 landing points of Mumbai’s coast, which would serve as quick-response posts for marine combat. “The MORS, which have been recently sanctioned would monitor coastal activities of the 114-km coastline of the city. The formation of three MORS would be done on a pilot project basis at Sassoon Docks, Marve in Malad and Bandra-worli Sealink near the Bandra end. The proposal has now been sanctioned,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity. The MOR would be equipped with at least 50 thermal cameras, satellite phones, night vision eyepieces and speedboats.