AP seeks central sanction for more marine police battalions

Visakhapatnam: An acute staff shortage faced by Andhra Pradesh’s Coastal Security Police (CSP) has forced the state to knock at the centre’s door for sanction of two marine police battalions, a senior police official said here today.

Director General of Police J V Ramudu admitted CSP’s staff shortage and poor infrastructure after inaugurating the newly constructed marine police station at Pudimadaka area under the Atchutapuram mandal in the district today.

The police official said that two additional CSP police battalions would be raised for Andhra Pradesh entirely through direct recruitment and be funded by the Centre on the lines of the Indian Reserve Battalion.

After Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh has the second longest coastline of 974.6 km in India, ranging from Srikakulam to Nellore, with around 400 potential landing points, the police official said.

Underlining the need to strengthen coastal security, the AP police chief said that the state would have 14 major ports in the future, with strategic industries in the hinterland, which needs to be protected by an enhanced coastal security set-up, the police official said.

He said that the CSP would emerge as an elite force in Andhra Pradesh in a few years on par with elite anti-Maoist force Greyhounds, after the proposed Marine Police Training Institute comes up at Machilipatnam in Nellore.

He said that to fill up 14,000 vacancies in all categories (constables, sub-inspectors and DSPs) in the police department, the AP state government is likely to recruit more number of police personnel.

There is also a proposal to appoint qualified youth from the fishing community as Special Police Officers and homeguards in the CSP at seaside villages along the coast, he said.

A proposal has been sent to set up ten checkposts and five outposts at strategic places in addition to the existing 21 marine police stations in Andhra Pradesh and add 30 fast interceptor boats to the force by March 2016, he said.

The government has placed orders for 30 fast interceptor boats with Garden Reach Shipbuilding and Engineers, Kolkata at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore, adding that presently the CSP has only 18 such boats, he said.