The NSG crack commando strength has been almost doubled to 460 personnel each stationed at select hubs in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad to undertake quick and swift counter-terror or counter-hijack operations.
The hubs in these cities, covering key areas, were set up in the aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks during which the elite force came under criticism for slow response time.
“It has been decided to reinforce the strength of each of the four regional hubs from 241 to 460 personnel with immediate effect,” the Union Home Ministry said in its annual report for 2013-14 tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday.
All the four hubs were made operational in 2009 by the Home Ministry after residential and training infrastructure was developed in these hubs for commandos and other administrative staff of the National Security Guard (NSG), a federal contingency force that was raised in 1984 to undertake special missions against terrorists and hijackers.
Specially trained commandos of the NSG counter-terror taskforce have been since stationed at these locations and they are armed with sophisticated weapons, communication gadgetry and other logistics to launch themselves in a combat scenario at a short notice.
Hyderabad and Chennai hubs have also been upgraded to the level of regional centres with 600 acres and 34.31 acres of land allotted to NSG in these cities respectively.
The force is also mulling to finalise a land for its fifth hub that could come up in Gujarat near Ahmedabad.