The boats were deployed as part of the plan to set up coastal police stations along the coast

The state government has engaged Cochin Shipyard Ltd for the maintenance of interceptor boats of the coastal police as they are gradually becoming non-operational due to lack of maintenance. 

The government made the move after the operational fleet of the coastal police boats came down to one-third of its total fleet, the maintenance contract of which, with the Goa Shipyard Ltd and Garden Reach Shipbuilders Ltd, Kolkata, expired more than a year ago. The government has given clearance for entering into a three-year annual maintenance contract (AMC) with the Cochin Shipyard, under which all the 23 boats will be under the care of the technical section of the shipyard.

State police chief Loknath Behera had informed the government that if AMC was not entered into without delay, the remaining ones also would meet the same fate. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) had granted 24 interceptor boats for the state to man its 590 km long coast.

While sanctioning the boats, the MHA had also entered into an AMC with the Goa Shipyard Ltd and Garden Reach Shipbuilders Ltd, Kolkata, which expired in July 2017.

After it was decided to take up the AMC through a professional agency, five firms had evinced interest in the task, and the government zeroed in on Cochin Shipyard taking into consideration that the organisation is government-owned and its proven expertise in manufacturing, maintaining and repairing heavy, medium and small vessels of Navy, Coast Guard and several private shipping companies. The government will shell out Rs 3.50 crore, Rs 4.02 crore and Rs 4.63 crore, respectively, for the first, second and third years, according the contract.

The state’s coastal police have 24 interceptor boats, with low weight and high manoeuvrability, of which one had exploded in 2016 (the reason for which has not yet been precisely found out despite the forensic unit and Goa Shipyard investigating into the reasons) making it permanently unusable.