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Gujarat government to set up special force for port security

The state government has decided to set up a special 690-men strong force for securing some of the key non-major ports in the state. A senior official said that the project is expected to cost Rs10 crore in the region initially and Rs5 to 6 crore per annum later, which would be borne by the Gujarat Maritime Board.

The state home department recently cleared the proposal to recruit personnel for the special force to strengthen security at Mundra, which is one of the largest ports in the country, Alang, the ship-breaking hub, and some other non-major ports in the state. The personnel, who will be called marine commandos, will be divided into six battalions.

SK Nanda, additional chief secretary of home department, said that special training would be provided to the proposed force.

“The headquarters of the proposed marine security force would be in Jamnagar. The force will function under the home department, but its expenditure would be borne by Gujarat Maritime Board, which operates the non-major ports,” said an official.

The government has established 22 marine police stations, having manpower of around 500, to secure ports and coastal areas. The manpower at the existing marine police stations will complement the proposed force.

The other ports that will be guarded by the special force are Magdalla, Navlakhi, Okha, Bedi, Jakhau, Bhavnagar, Porbandar and Mandvi.

The proposed security force to be created will be on the lines of the special forces that guard the Narmada dam and IOCL refinery in Vadodara, said an official.

“We have also initiated steps to create higher awareness in coastal areas for early detection and prevention of untoward incidents,” said an official.

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