RAKESH K SINGH | NEW DELHI
Union Home Ministry has advised the CRPF to buy the best available unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through global tendering instead of solely relying on public sector major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) for procurement of the spying machines that are being used in anti-Naxal operations in the affected States.
At a review meeting of the CRPF recently, Union Home Secretary RK Singh stressed on the need to have a UAV plan and emphasized that “by having our own UAVs, we will be able to reduce dependency on NTRO/Indian Air Force.”
“CRPF should carry out the evaluation considering all relevant factors such as resolution, ceiling, payload, flight time, night vision, functionality, projectile requirement and also the topography of the area in which thee UAVs are likely to be deployed,” Singh told the top brass of the paramilitary.
Singh agreed to a CRPF proposal seeking authorization-cum-provision sanction for procurement of 10 mini UAVs besides expenditure sanction for purchase of two Skylark mini UAVs.
On a CRPF proposal to wet lease two Dauphin SA 365N helicopters from public sector undertaking Pawan Hans, the Home Secretary directed the Naxal Management division of the ministry to put up the case for approval. Singh also told the paramilitary officials that two helicopters are being provided to the Union Home Ministry by the Air Force and the same can be made available to the CRPF.
Singh also directed the police modernization division to put up the case for grant of sanction for authorization and expenditure for procurement of about 1300 motorcycles for elite anti-Naxal CoBRA B attalions besides an additional 760 vehicles for the intelligence set up of the CRPF.
Union Home Ministry is also examining a proposal for procurement of about 500 hand-held satellite phones, 800 GPS-enabled personal tracker kits and 83 laptops for remaining Deputy Inspectors General. Singh also told the CRPF brass that the proposal for extending the eligibility for award of police (Antrik Suraksha Seva) Padak is being expeditiously processed by the Ministry.