Mumbai is about to become better prepared for terror than it ever was, with the inauguration of the first regional National Security Guard hub in the country on Tuesday.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram will inaugurate the 23-acre facility at Marol in Andheri (East), reportedly chosen because of its proximity to the Mumbai airport.
An announcement is expected on when the unit will be operationally ready. As of now, the NSG is based only in Manesar in Haryana.
“This is a very significant moment for Mumbai and Maharashtra, because NSG’s presence will be a very strong deterrent,” said State Principal Secretary (Home) PK Jain.
The NSG — set up in 1984, as an elite counter-terror commando unit on the lines of Britain’s SAS and Germany’s GSG 9 — is a repository of learning from terror combat situations across the country, and is also a national nodal point for explosives. “It’ll also allow us to train our police force using the NSG’s rigorous standards,” added Jain.
The Centre first suggested the idea of regional NSG hubs after terrorists attacked Mumbai for 62 hours from November 26, 2008. The NSG lost valuable hours in that operation loading their supplies and waiting for an aircraft to take them from New Delhi to Mumbai, to engage terrorists lodged in the Taj and Oberoi hotels and at Nariman House, all in south Mumbai.
The objective of establishing multiple NSG hubs across the country is to substantially reduce the unit’s response time to counter any terror threat anywhere in India.
The Mumbai hub will comprise a group of about 200 elite NSG commandos drawn out of the Indian armed forces, and will be in position as soon as their living quarters are ready. The National Buildings Construction Corporation has been assigned the task of that construction.
A government release said three other regional hubs, at Nedunkundram in Chennai, Trimulghery in Hyderabad, and Badu in Kolkata, will be inaugurated on July 1.