Thirty new marine police stations have been sanctioned for Tamil Nadu in the second phase of the Coastal Security Scheme.

With this, the total number of such stations in the State will increase to 42. Vital installations such as the Kalpakkam nuclear power plant, part of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, and Chennai Port would now come under the security cover of the Coastal Security Group.

According to official sources, a majority of the new marine police stations would come up in Nagapattinam and Ramanathapuram districts. Chennai city would get three, including the one proposed at Tiruvanmiyur. The Ministry of Home Affairs was in the process of finalising a new design for the stations.

“The marine police stations would be located strategically along the 1,076-km coastline of Tamil Nadu. Modern weapons, transport and communication gadgets are being provided to our security personnel. The objective is to ensure that the reaction time of marine police to any exigency along the coast would be less than five minutes,” Inspector General of Police (Coastal Security Group) Rajesh Das told The Hindu on Tuesday.

As part of the modernisation programme, the force was planning to import 175 all-terrain vehicles capable of moving at a speed of more than 100 kmph on sand. The specification of design and efficiency has been sent to the Secretary, Border Management, along with a few models.

“We have proposed to procure 20 more speedboats. Ten of the 24 boats already sanctioned in the first phase of the scheme were delivered and put to use.”

Mr. Rajesh Das said discussion to introduce the concept of ‘Territorial Navy’ was on at the highest level. “In Tamil Nadu, we are suggesting that unemployed or poorly paid youths among the fishermen community be identified and trained by the coastal security agencies. After the training period, during which they will be given stipend and uniform, this network of volunteers will boost our intelligence machinery,” he said.

Construction of new police stations would commence during the year. Home Secretary S. Malathi and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) K. Radhakrishnan were closely monitoring the implementation of the scheme that is expected to take coastal security of Tamil Nadu to new levels, he added.