Tasked to conduct an agile and swift operation in case of a terror strike anywhere in the country, commandos of the elite NSG have still not been able to place their feet at their base in Kolkata even two years after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The government had created four new NSG hubs at Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai in May last year in the aftermath of the Mumbai incident and had earmarked Kolkata and Hyderabad to have regional bases of the commando force with full capabilities for training and camping of the men to perform 'quick' counter-terror and counter-hijack duties.
However, though the land has finally been identified at Dankuni in West Bengal's Hooghly district after a series of meetings between senior state government officials and successive NSG chiefs, the transfer of land is yet to happen, sources involved in the process said.
It is expected that the land will be transferred soon and construction work at the site by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) would begin, they said.
The NSG has begun creating infrastructure at the land in Hyderabad.
"It was decided that the hubs at Hyderabad and Kolkata will merge with the bigger regional centres but due to glitches in identifying a land and transfer of ownership, the commandos at the Kolkata hub are rendering their duties from a location next to the international airport in the city," the sources said.
The delay in the process has led to problems relating to training and regular practice of the commandos in Kolkata who either have to take the services of the state government's training establishments or go to the NSG's original garrison at Manesar in Haryana.
While the new hubs already have a specialised strength of 241 commandos for anti-terror duties, the regional centres will have 5150 personnel, when fully operational.
The NSG has also decided to operationalise its dog and bomb disposal squads at all its hubs.
"The regional centres have been approved with a sanctioned strength of 5150 personnel each as regional bases with integrated facilities, while the regional hubs have a smaller component of personnel located at tactical locations for quick response," Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken had told Rajya Sabha on March 3 this year.
"Keeping in view the growing incidence of terrorism in the country, the regional centres and hubs have been created to ensure speedy deployment of the force, in optimum strength, at the sites on need basis," he had said.
The existing hubs have been established at Marol (23 acres) in Mumbai, Nedunkundram (85 acres) in Chennai, Trimulghery (22 acres) in Hyderabad and Badu (20 acres) in Kolkata.