Inadequate funds for NATGRID dangerous, indicates document

Inadequate funds for NATGRID dangerous, indicates document

Inadequate allocation of funds and the subsequent delay in the projects cleared for NATGRID could impact counter-terror efforts, an official document has warned.

NATGRID is an integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies.

It said that Rs 98.30 crore has been allocated to NATGRID in 2017-18 for setting up a secure IT solution and the creation of a necessary physical environment for running of the programme.

Acknowledging that there was a “spurt” this year in implementing the project, the ‘Output-Outcome Framework for Schemes 2017-18’ warned that the forward movement could be “adversely impacted” and “delay the outcomes expected in counter-terror efforts” if there is no proper allocation and follow-up action.

First proposed in 2008 after the Mumbai attacks, the NATGRID project was revived last year. It is aimed at connecting databases of core agencies to generate actionable intelligence from the data of these 21 organisations.

 It intends to strengthen counter-terrorism capabilities and assist in countering national and transnational crimes.

According to the document, an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) solution is needed to augment capacities in NATGRID.

The document showed that Rs 52.63 crore, out of Rs 60.29 crore allocated in the revised estimates, has been incurred despite court orders that could affect the implementation, and it is expected that it would attain 100% expenditure.

Around Rs 100 crore would be needed in 2017-18 to fulfil contractual obligations on civil construction work in Delhi, and non-fulfilment of “inevitable” liabilities would entail legal procedures for contract violation, it warned.

Of the Rs 32.06 crore required for work in the Bengaluru office, Rs 22.93 crore is towards critical infrastructure and data centre support. The project will be delayed by at least a year if enough money is not allocated. The Delhi project will also miss the July 2018 deadline as the contract has to be awarded along with Bengaluru.

On developing physical infrastructure, the document said that NATGRID has sought Rs 70 crore under machinery and equipment, of which Rs 34 crore is for establishing links with agencies.

Another Rs 16 crore is for payment to the system integrator who will develop IT solutions, and another Rs 15.59 crore for OSINT, besides Rs 4 crore for the implementation of the second phase of the technology lab.

“If the allocations are not made, all the components of the NATGRID project will have to be rescheduled, and will delay the completion of the project,” it said.

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