The Odisha Government plans to complete distribution of biometric ID cards to the marine fishermen by the end of this month. It will also go for colour-coding of fishing vessels for facilitating surveillance. At the national meeting on coastal security in Mumbai, chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Odisha Government informed that it would conduct mop-up camps to complete issue of biometric ID cards to fishermen families living in the coastal districts of the State. It aims to cover at least 50,000 left out villagers by the end of June. In view of the threat of infiltration through the sea routes, the coastal States have been identifying the residents, mostly fishermen communities. The identified families are issued biometric ID cards. So far, 2.53 lakh biometric cards have been issued by the State Government. “The Government will hold mop up camps between June 20 and 30 for covering another 50,000 families under the scheme, sources said. The Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) supplies the cards while hand-held devices are provided to marine police stations and Fisheries Department officials to identify the genuine residents. Home Secretary Asit Tripathy, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Secretary Bishnupada Sethi and Director General of Police KB Singh attended the meeting. During the meeting, the State stressed on increased involvement of fishermen community by making them stakeholders in scaling up security along the shoreline as they can play a crucial role in the information sharing mechanism. The meeting also stressed on evolving a mechanism under which, fish land centres would act as first point of information. While vessels will be registered, the Government will also go for colour-coding for easy identification. The Union Home Minister said the Centre will consider creation of coastal police as a Central Armed Police Force on the lines of India Reserve Battalion based on the suggestions received from coastal States and UTs. To track the movement of fishermen, an integrated e-surveillance will be implemented by States and UTs. The Centre will help the States in this regard. Singh also informed that a chain of static sensors and Automatic Identification System receivers has been created for gapless surveillance. The Indian Coast Guard has radars at 45 locations while 38 more radars will be installed. For training of coastal police, in-principle approval has been accorded for setting up National Marine Police Training Institute in Gujarat and State Marine Police Training Centres in the Police Training Academies of States and Union Territories.

2016, The New Indian Express.