New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Tuesday made an urgent plea for central assistance for its ongoing modernization of the police force in view of the state’s rapid urbanization and the terror threats it faces.
Speaking at the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security here, Chavan said while detailing his state’s security plans that it has added 14,395 men and 1,109 officers to its police force in 2010, besides an additional 2,355 officers in the Maoist-affected district of Gadchiroli and its surroundings.
He said that the proposed ‘Alpha Hawks Academy’ coming up at Nagpur, to be operational by next year, would impart specialized training to police in anti-Maoist operations and jungle warfare. He sought central funding of Rs.22 crore to complete and commission the Academy.
Similarly, the state has set up the Maharashtra Intelligence Academy in Pune to train officers, security men and intelligence modules.
On the issue of coastal security post the 26/11, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Chavan said that state has commissioned 28 boats and ordered another 29 boats, and hired 29 trawlers for joint coastal patrolling.
“The state government will establish a Marine Police Training Academy in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai, while a post of IGP-Coastal Security has been created for better coordination and control of Coastal Police Stations,” Chavan said.
In the next phase of the Coastal Security Scheme, Chavan said the central government has approved setting up of seven coastal police stations, procuring 14 boats of 12-tonnes each and constructing three jetties.
In addition, the state has issued 75,558 Smart Cards to fishermen and 22,946 vessels and 1,434 non-fishing vessels, besides setting up 66 district computer training centres to train police in the use of Crime and Criminal Track Network System.
Chavan urged for central financial support for these and other schemes over the next 10 years.
He said that the state has already allocated Rs.16 crore to procure mine protected vehicles, and sought central help in getting them on priority and requested helicopters to be based in Nagpur to monitor Maoist-hit districts in the east.
With a view to improving communication in the remote Maoist-affected areas, Chavan urged that Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) should be directed to set up transmission towers for better mobile communication among the security forces working in the region.
Besides Chavan, state Home Minister R.R. Patil and Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad also represented Maharashtra at the meeting.