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Coastal Security Arrangement: A Case Study of Gujarat and Maharashtra Coasts

Dr. Pushpita Das is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • IDSA Occassional Paper No. 6
    2009

    The Gujarat and Maharashtra coasts, the most prosperous and strategically located coastline along the country’s western seafront, have always been susceptible to anti-national activities. Smuggling of gold, arms and explosives through the coasts has been quite rampant through the decades. In 1993, explosives, which triggered off serial blasts in Mumbai, were smuggled in through Raigad on the Maharashtra coast. The Central government has been aware of the vulnerability of these coasts and has put in place mechanisms to secure the coastline. But the terrorist attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, once again brought to fore the vulnerability of this coastline. The fact that terrorists could carry out such an attack despite the existence of a coastal security mechanism exposes the inherent deficiencies of the system. Lack of manpower, training, infrastructure and coordination coupled with other systemic flaws and state government’s indifference to coastal security have severely undermined the efficacy of the coastal security apparatus. There is, therefore, an urgent need to take corrective steps, at central, state and UT government levels, to make India’s coastal security foolproof.

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