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High-speed boat meant for Kumta grounded

Correspondent

It has developed technical problems and was sent to Karwar


‘We had the life jackets but no oxygen cylinders to use in case of the emergency'

‘Any terrorist strike at these places will have international repercussions'


Karwar: The warning of the central intelligence agencies that there is a possibility of terrorists attack on the western coast seems to have no effect on the Coastal Security Police (CSP) in Uttara Kannada. The force is so casual about the warning that it has grounded one of the three high-speed boats for “repair” work.

Even on Wednesday, the boat was not ready. The Centre had given three high-speed boats — one each for Karwar, Kumta and Bhatkal. The cost of each boat was about Rs. 2 crore. These boats were fitted with wireless equipment to locate the suspicious boats in the sea.

No drivers

Initially, the boats were kept on the jetty because of non-availability of experienced drivers. Then the retired navy employees were appointed as drivers on contract basis. Each boat consists of one Inspector, two sub-inspectors, head constables and constables.

According to the CSP officials, the boat allotted to Kumta had some technical problems and needed repairs. But after the alert about the terror threat, they were carrying round-the-clock vigilance with the help of other two boats. Kumta boat was brought to CSP jetty in Karwar and was grounded for repair several days ago.

Although the boats were well-equipped, the staff members were still waiting for the modern arms and other equipment such as binoculars. “We had the life jackets but no oxygen cylinders to use in case of the emergency,” said a CSP staff.

Karwar has several sensitive installations such as Kaiga Atomic Power Station and Kadamba naval base. A large number of foreign tourists gather at Kumta to usher in the new year. Any terrorist strike at these places would have international repercussions. But the CSP authorities appear to be taking a chance by not having the speed-boat ready, said Krishna Harikantra, a fisherman.

CSP authorities said the boat would be redeployed soon.

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