The department of ports has flagged the issue of the need for comprehensive security cover and installation of security surveillance systems at the minor ports in Karnataka, with the ministry of road transport, highways and shipping. At present, the security of minor ports in the state is vested with the internal security division of Karnataka State Police and the Central Industrial Security Force mans the security needs of the state’s only major port – New Mangalore Port.
Raising this issue with the Union minister Nitin Gadkari at a recent meeting at Goa, Minister for Ports, Textiles and Inland Water Transport, Baburao Chinchanasur told the former that due consideration must be paid to security of 12 minor ports dotting the state’s 300-odd km coastline. “Minor ports are vulnerable from the security point of view and steps must be taken to ensure that they are properly guarded,” he said.
The other issue that Chinchanasur flagged with Gadkari at the meeting, is the issue of development of existing minor ports. Chinchanasur, in a memorandum submitted to the union minister, states that restrictions in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) is coming in the way of development of minor ports. “The MoEF may be requested to issue early clearance for the state’s port projects,” Chinchanasur noted.
Minor ports should be given CRZ exemptions irrespective of development cost of the project in the port limits, he said. Referring to the issue of dredging of minor ports, the minister said it needs huge financial investment. If the dredging of minor ports is taken up by the Dredging Corporation of India with financial assistance from the union government, it will go a long way in improving the efficiency, he pointed out.