Helicopters for the elite commando unit Force One will be deployed faster in case of terror attack or any other emergencies, if the state government's plans to cut through red tape works.
Mumbai Mirror on Thursday reported that the state government plans to sign an agreement with the civil aviation authorities to use an aircraft in emergency situations without the bureaucratic procedures. A proposal has been sent to the Centre.
"Force One commandos, who are based in Kalina, can get combat-ready in 14 minutes and need to be airlifted to the scene of action as city's choked roads may slow down their movement," the report said.
Modelled on the National Security Guards (NSG), the elite counter terror unit was formed after the 26 November, 2008 Mumbai terror strikes to guard the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. It became operational in 2009, a few days before the first anniversary of 26/11.
According to reports, 216 commandos were recruited in the first batch and were trained on counter-terrorism techniques, including use of explosives, firing and communication.
An initial fund of Rs 126 crore was set aside to set up the security.
"Force One takes 15 minutes to get ready and respond to a terror strike. It has an array of AK-47s, MP5 and Glock pistols, apart from shotguns, under-barrel grenade launchers, breeching equipment and explosives at its disposal," a report in The Hindu said.
From land troubles to facing gun crisis, the Force One commandos "can raise a live, armoured unit and leave for a hostage situation in 14 minutes, a good deal quicker than the 20 minutes they took earlier," reported The Indian Express in 2014. The concern, however, remains over the reaction of the first responder.
"It’s how they will react and use their weapon in the first seven minutes that will decide everyone’s fate,” said Delhi-based officer from the National Security Guard in the report.
With inputs from PTI