Mumbai police to rent fishing boats to patrol city’s coastline

The Mumbai police are looking at fortifying their coastal security arsenal with six trawlers, some of which could even come from the fishing community if they fit the bill, according to police sources. The trawlers should have the capacity of carrying 15 people at a time and a speed of 8 to 12 nautical miles per hour. The boats will be hired for six months a year as they will not be operational during the monsoon.

The boats will be hired for Rs 15,000 a boat per day, sources said. The police said Rs 2.75 crore had been sanctioned after the plan was approved by the Minister of State for Home, Deepak Kesarkar, recently. The police force had acquired 72 speedboats following the 26/11 terror attack, of which only a few are still in use. These trawlers will give more teeth to the police force’s existing coastal security measures as they will be sturdier and can withstand currents and strong winds. These trawlers will be patrolling the coast for 12 hours a day.

“All boats of bidders will be thoroughly inspected and will be approved only if they meet strict specifications. Among the requirements are that the cabin size on board should be 10x7x6 and the boat should be 45 feet in length and 15 feet in width. Fishermen, too, can bid. The boat should be registered with the fisheries department as well as the Maritime Board,” said a source from the Mumbai police.

The owner of the boat will provide a driver and helper and will have to tank up at their own cost. The owner will also have to provide an alternative boat in case of any technical glitches in the original one. The boat will also have to stock 15 lifejackets for the protection of the cops and boat staff onboard.