Is national security being sacrificed at the altar of bureaucracy?
So it seems, going by the manner in which the National Security Guard (NSG) are being tossed around and made to comply with rules. The NSG have been told to pay Rs 1,000 for a map of the 23-acre plot alloted to them in Marol in Andheri (East). This, even as they continue to battle for an encroachment-free plot.
Since the black cats landed in the city in June, they have been subjected to one obstacle after another. They have been told to pay for everything — the land being the sole exception.
Mumbai suburban district’s Superintendent of Land Records, S.K. Dikhale, was not available for comment. Mumbai Suburban Collector Vishwas Patil said there was a fixed fee to be paid. Asked if national agencies like NSG could not be given a map without any fee, Patil said: “No. Even if people from other departments approach us, we charge a stipulated fee.”
Mumbai police officials, who have been in close liaison with the NSG, said the state government should have handed over the entire set of papers, including maps and land survey records, to the NSG before handing over the plot.
“Every such incident that the NSG has had to face in Mumbai makes them feel they are not wanted in the city,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity. “This also explains their weary reaction to us.”
On October 6, Hindustan Times reported about a private construction firm having a facility for a cement-mixing unit on the said plot. The firm has not entirely vacated, thus delaying construction of barracks.
On October 11, Hindustan Times reported the commandos were told to pay Rs 1,200 an hour to practise firing at the State Reserve Police Force’s Goregaon range. The state has not addressed the issue as NSG continues to practise at a below par firing range in Ghatkopar.