First regional hub of NSG opens

First regional hub of NSG opens


One lesson was to have four regional hubs of the specialised National Security Guards (NSG) outside its Manesar HQ near Delhi, and Mumbai was obviously the first choice, the metropolis having been the frequent target of terror attacks.

On Tuesday, union home minister P Chidambaram inaugurated the temporary base of the Mumbai hub at Kalina near Santacruz, close to the Mumbai international airport.

Three more hubs of the elite special response unit would be opened in one single day on Wednesday at Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

The permanent base of the NSG regional hub would come up at Marol in Andheri, a north western suburb more famous for its film and television industry. That base too will be very close to the international airport, facilitating quick airlift to the places of emergency.

Speaking to reporters on the occasion, Chidambaram announced that the police forces in mega cities like Mumbai would be provided helicopters for quick responses. "This is how policing is done in big metros like New York and London," he said. The Maharashtra government has given 23 acres of land for the Mumbai hub at Marol, which will become operational soon. It will reduce the NSG's response time in countering terrorist actions in the western region "very significantly."

The main reason behind setting up the regional hub was the delayed arrival of the NSG units in Mumbai after terrorists had struck at multiple locations on November 26, 2008.

The delay was attributed to unavailability of a dedicated aircraft, and the NSG units were flown in at  day-break, almost nine hours after the attack had begun.

The Chennai hub of the NSG is built on a 85-acre plot in Nedunkundram, while in Hyderabad, it is located on a 22-acre plot at Trimulghery. In Kolkata, the facility is situated on a 20-acre plot at Badu. Terror alert sounded

Alert

Meanwhile, in a coincidence, the state police have sounded an alert about a possible terror attack on Mumbai after receiving a report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on Tuesday. State Director General of Police S S Virk said the IB has given a "fresh alert about the threat, two to three days back, and accordingly, I have instructed my men to be alert." "Though we receive alerts on regular basis we do not want to take any chance," he added. Mumbai police commissioner D Sivanandan also had stated recently that the city might face a terror attack from air or from land, rather than from sea route this time.

 

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