No patrol boats in Coastal Police's fleet to tackle violations, enemies in Goa's waters

Nine patrol boats have been anchored ashore along the coast for the last two years for want of maintenance.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Wednesday, August 31, 2022, 04:08 PM IST
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Coastal Police Personnel | The Goan Network

Is the Goa police equipped with patrol boats to rein in on boats violating the fishing rules or enemy vessels straying into the State’s territorial waters?

Not yet, with nine patrol boats anchored ashore along the coast for the last two years for want of maintenance. That’s not all. A new all-weather patrol boat is under construction at the Goa Shipyard Limited, while another one is being proposed to meet future security requirements.

In fact, when a video went viral on Monday showing fishing boats reportedly from other states in Goa’s territorial waters, fishermen were in two minds, whether to call up the coastal police or the Fisheries department for assistance to intercept the boats.

Reason: None other than the fishermen know for sure that the patrol boats of the Coastal police are down and in the dumps at the police stations for want of maintenance.

In fact, the traditional fishermen had once made available their speed boats to ferry the men-in-uniform to intercept the fishing boats from the neighbouring states fishing in Goa’s territorial waters.

Inquiries by The Goan have revealed that there’s no change in the ground reality over the last two years, with the patrol boats of the Coastal police down and out after the Annual Maintenance Contract expired in 2020.

Informed a senior police officer, “After the AMC had expired in 2020, the government appointed an agency to study the matter and prepare the cost of maintaining the patrol boats. While the report was submitted, the government has referred the matter to another agency to find out economic feasibility in respect of maintenance or to go for the new boats.”

The Officer added, “Since the report from the agency is still being awaited by the government, the functioning of the coastal police is affected and hampered for want of the patrol boats.

Another senior police officer informed that Goa Shipyard Limited is presently building an interceptor boat at a cost of around Rs 1.23 crore. Similarly, it was pointed out that another patrol boat has been proposed to be built at Rs 3.25 crore as part of a long-term plan.

In the absence of speed patrol boats, the coastal police is equipped with two rigid inflatable boats. A year ago, a Cavelossim-based starred resort had funded a motor for use by the coastal police under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to keep afloat the movement of the men-in-uniform stationed at Betul.

A senior officer wondered whether the High Court directives to the coastal police against LED fishing and bull trawling can be effectively implemented when the police force is handicapped to carry out surprise checks in the sea.

Questions are being raised by both the men-in-uniform and the fishermen alike about whether it augurs well for the coastal police to function without the patrol boats. “Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are in regular touch with the State police officials to review the security threat perception from the sea. It’s surprising to see the patrol vessels lying in the dumps for the last two years when there’s no dearth of funds from the Centre,” sources said.

This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan

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