Maharashtra`s Force One still homeless

Last Updated: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 15:28

Mumbai: Maharashtra`s elite combat squad
Force One, raised on the lines of the National Security Guards
two years ago, is still without a permanent base and
ill-equipped but the government says the commando unit is all
set to get an integrated hub by 2013.

Force One was created as state`s elite anti-terror force
amid much fanfare a year after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The government had then announced that the specialised
counter-terror unit would have its hub on a 99-acre plot at
suburban Goregaon. However, the land on which it is to come up
is still locked in a dispute with the local tribals.

The 350-member commando force is at present functioning
from Kole Kalyan village in Kalina where it is also undergoing
training.

"Though the dispute with the tribals is yet to be
settled, some portion of the land for the proposed hub is
available for the commando unit. The integrated hub for the
unit will be ready by 2013," Additional chief secretary (Home)
Umesh Sarangi told PTI.

The construction work of the hub has already begun, said
Force One chief Sadanand Date.

"The commandos will have residential quarters, a training
centre, an administrative building and grounds with advanced
firing ranges," he added.

The squad is also facing a serious equipment crunch with
only ten per cent of the commandos having bullet-proof vests
and helmets, according to sources in the force, who said other
essential tools for counter-terror combat such as blast-proof
eye-wear, goggles with rear view, stun grenades and digital
radios are yet to arrive.

The creation of state`s own specialised counter-terror
force was mooted following a nine-hour delay in arrival of NSG
commandos during the 26/11 attacks.

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 15:28

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