New Delhi: 26/11 shook the nation out of its slumber. It recorded a death toll of 173 and brave commandos in action pushed the Government in making concrete plans. Eight months later, it's ribbon-cutting time for four NSG hubs across the country.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said in Mumbai, "We made a promise to the nation and we have kept that promise."
But reality is a little different. The Nedunkundram hub is spread across 85 acres in Chennai and even the road leading up to it will be built in November. The Marul hub at Mumbai has been created at a police training school at Santa Cruz and in Hyderabad, even the temporary hub is being cemented over. It's the same story in kolkata as well.
It is not just a shortage of officers. The four NSG hubs comprising 1,000 commandos will cost over a Rs 1,000 crore in five years. Ten companies of commandos or a 1,000 men trained for this purpose would cost Rs 30 crore.
But the real fear is shortage of commandos not facilities.
Former Delhi police chief, T R Kakkar says that the shortfall of men is always around 25 per cent.
North Bloc has, however, realised that the first line of response in a terror attack is always the local police. They have the advantage of language and the layout of the land, which is why now for every India Reserve Battalion that a state raises, one company - or a 100 men - will have to be trained for commando operations.