The Mumbai police will finally get a helicopter for policing and surveillance, albeit an old one that had been bought by the state government to fly chief minister and other VVIPs in 1999.
The state's home department has sent a proposal asking the general administration department to transfer the old Dauphin VT-MJ helicopter to the city police. The helicopter will be used by the city police and the recently set up elite Force One commandos for surveillance, security and emergency rescues.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will have to clear the proposal, but this could set a precedent for the city police to get wings for policing.
Since the 2009 terror attacks, the home department has been mulling over purchasing a helicopter for the police.
"A new chopper would have cost us Rs 70 core, but the old one still has another 10 years of life and the state has to spend just Rs 10 to 14 crore to get this one going," said a senior official on condition of anonymity.
He added that once the chopper is no longer usable, the state would buy a new aircraft for the police.