No land for NSG base in West Bengal, elite unit may move out

Neelabh Srivastava

New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) The Centre''s decision toposition the elite NSG ''black cat'' commandos in Kolkata todeal with any possible terror attack has come to a nought withthe West Bengal government expressing its "inability" to theHome Ministry to provide suitable land for the base.

The West Bengal government''s stand stifled efforts ofthe last two years of the Home Ministry and NSG officials whohave been regularly touring the state as part of the plan toestablish a 300-acre regional centre there.

Disappointed by the turn of events, top sources saidthe Centre was mulling moving out a 90-acre NSG hub alreadyexisting in Kolkata to another state.

"The government may also plan to shift the hub fromKolkata to another place," they said.

The decision to deploy commandos at strategiclocations in the country and reduce their ''strike time'' forconducting "swift" anti-terror and counter-hijack operationswas taken in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The Union Home Ministry in an official order ofJanuary 28 has now asked the National Security Guard (NSG)headquarters here to "locate land in other states".

The sources said that they were now scouting for sitesin Jharkhand and Assam.

Four NSG hubs and two regional centres were createdat-- Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata-- after the Mumbaiattacks.

Kolkata and Hyderabad were earmarked to have regionalcentres. The NSG has already acquired land in Rangareddydistrict in Andhra Pradesh last year in April and work is infull swing there.

"The West Bengal government has expressed itsinability to provide a suitable land for the NSG regionalcentre at Kolkata. The earlier location at Rajarhat wassuitable but the state government retracted its earlier nod.

Other areas had the problem of water-logging," the sourcessaid.

The sources said as the NSG regional centre would nownot be in Kolkata, the commandos will not have a place totrain and hence there was a possibility that the hub locatedat Badu in the state capital would also be shifted.

The governments of Assam and Jharkhand have expressedwillingness to station the troops and provide almost 300 acresof land for the regional centre with the capacity of almost5000 commandos and having extensive training infrastructure,they said.

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