As a direct fallout of the November 26 terrorist attack on the city, the police are all set to receive a Rs130 crore grant for modernisation of the force, especially the rusting armoury.
Outmatched by the sophisticated firepower of the terrorists during the over-three-day standoff, the police knew they could not afford to wait any longer for the money to modernise.
Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor confirmed the development on Wednesday.
“The process is almost through,” Gafoor said.
He said a major part of the grant would be spent on procuring new and advanced weapons. He also talked of several new gadgets for surveillance and monitoring.
Minister of State for Home Nitin Raut called on Gafoor at his office on Wednesday to discuss the utilisation of the grant.
Speaking to the media later, Raut said he had asked Gafoor to submit a shopping list.
“Installation of radars for coastal surveillance and mobile X-ray scanners to detect arms and explosives hidden in vehicles will form a part of the new procurements,” the minister of state said.
With the state already putting an end to a situation where bullets and firing ranges were never available, the city police administration has begun the mandatory but long-discontinued firing practice for the 42,000-strong force.
Police sources, speaking on condition of anonymity for protocol reasons, said the state recently sanctioned ammunition, mainly bullets, and some high-end weapons. Even on-duty traffic constables had been given weapons after training.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K.L. Prasad said constables were being taken in batches to the two firing ranges at Ghatkopar and Marol.
“They are being given categorised firing training and are being familiarised with handling different kinds of weapons,” he said.
Every policeman irrespective of rank is supposed to fire at least 30 rounds annually at a range, but the cost of an ordinary bullet being Rs 6, the practice remained only on paper for years.
The police have also obtained 50 AK-47 rifles from the Director General of Police office, taking the number of such weapons in the city armoury to 297.