| Code: 90568 |

TIN news:   Maritime security along the coast is set to be enhanced with the state home department deciding to raise a special State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) battalion to man the government-run ports.
This battalion of 1,200-odd armed personnel will replace the Gujarat Industrial Security Force (GISF), whose men are unarmed and virtually have no powers under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
AK Rakesh, vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Gujarat Maritime Board’s (GMB) said that SRP will replace nearly 350 GISF personnel over the next two years at Bedi, Jafrabad, Navlakhi, Veraval, Bhavnagar, Magdalla, Okha, Dahej, Mandvi and Porbandar ports.
GMB will spend Rs 160 crore for this force that is expected to give a better protective cover to its ports. The SRP will have its headquarters in Jamnagar and GMB is ready to allocate at least 112 acres of land. “We are even looking at Porbandar and Veraval as other options for setting the headquarters that will also include housing for the SRP men,” said an official.
Earlier, about eight years ago, GMB had requested for CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) cover for all its ports in the 11 groups. However, the request was declined on the grounds that CISF had to man other important installations like air ports and GISF was deployed at the GMB-run ports.
“GISF cover was neither sufficient nor efficient enough. They don’t even have lathis. We had approached the CISF last year too but they again declined our request. So we approached the state home department that agreed to raise a special battalion for ports,” said a senior GMB official.
The GMB is also planning an Integrated Security Management Service (ISMS) to integrate security at all its ports. The system will include a network of CCTV cameras at all ports that would be monitored from the central headquarters in Gandhinagar.

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