If ever there is a repeat of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos sent out to combat it would be airborne within 30 minutes.
The home ministry has finalised a new standard operating procedure detailing just how this should be done.
<b1>The NSG took seven hours to reach Mumbai when 26/11 occurred, underlining their lack of preparedness for such an attack. This won’t happen again.
The new rules authorise the security establishment to requisition even commercial aircraft, if required, to fly at the earliest to the terror spot. Agreements have been worked out with all local airlines.
“The government has taken all measures to ensure commandos are ferried to an attack site as swiftly as possible. We can get cracking within half an hour of receiving orders,” said NSG director general NPS Aulakh.
The ministry also plans to buy dedicated helicopters for the NSG, which too would help cut down response time. Till now, the NSG depended on agencies like the Border Security Force and the Aviation Research Centre. The requisitioning process took time.
Airport and aviation authorities have also appointed nodal officers for the NSG to coordinate with if a terror crisis arises.