CIFNET is training 25 home guards and constables in the first batch

Acquiring navigational skills will prove quite crucial in using fast moving interceptor boats for coastal surveillance, IG, Coastal Security Police, K. Srinivasa Reddy has said.

It’s important to overcome inhibitions and do a duty akin to that on the land using boats instead of motor vehicles, he said at the inaugural of the short-term training programme on “Vessel Navigation and Engineering” for Coastal Security Personnel of the State at Central Institute of Fisheries, Nautical and Engineering Training (CIFNET) unit here on Friday.

CIFNET is training 25 home guards and constables in the first batch and a total of 150 to 200 will be imparted training.

Mr. Reddy said the boats would operate at a speed of 35 to 28 nautical miles, quite good on the sea, and it was important to operate and maintain them.

Stating that the salaries of personnel had gone up and now range from Rs.27,000 to Rs.15,000, he said the DGP had assured him that in course of time those suitable would be absorbed as kalasis or drivers.

In Gujarat, where the borders were porous and the threat perception was high inspectors and DSPs were driving boats, he said and wanted inspectors to be covered in the next batch of training.

He recalled that three decades ago when elite forces like Greyhounds were formed to counter Naxalites there were some apprehensions among police in the State.

Now Andhra Pradesh stood in the forefront and was able to guide other States, Mr. Reddy said.

He thanked the CIFNET Director for going ahead with the training though the nitty-gritty were not finalised.

CIFNET Deputy Director A. K. Choudhury said with six coastal police stations established and more in the pipeline, challenges in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai attacks could be faced only with training.

Knowledge of navigation was important for facing challenges on the high seas and CIFNET would meet the expectations on the training.

Director of Indian Maritime University U.S. Ramesh felt that those coming from fishermen background would naturally tune themselves to the conditions on sea.

The training could be useful for joining Merchant Navy later as Coast Guard and Navy personnel were doing.

IMU could also come out with graduation courses in boat maintenance etc. Coastal Police had a crucial to play as they could reach very close to the coast unlike Coast Guard or the Navy.

Senior Scientist of CIFT Madhusudhana Rao said that Coastal Police could play an effective role in protecting marine environment and enforcing rules of fishing.

Senior Scientist of CIFT V. Sreedhar said poaching by foreign vessels for Tuna fish also could also be checked.

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