The National Security Guards,more popular as Black Cats,will soon make Kolkata their second home after Manesar in Haryana.
On Thursday,NSG director J K Dutt will be in the city to take a final call on the site two NSG teams have already visited Kolkata this year and have homed in on two sites for a small hub near the airport that will station one squadron of commandos (about 120 people) meant mainly for anti-highjack operations. NSG teams have already checked out some locations for a second,bigger hub in the state.
During the earlier visits,the NSG teams were said to have been keen on Khaikhali,which is around five-minute drive from the airport. Dutt will likely visit the spot after a meeting with senior government officials,including Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen.
The NSG is keen on setting up the small unit first to house a small contingent meant specially for tackling plane highjacking. I hope they start construction as soon as they get it, Sen said.
They were shown two sites,both having 15-20 acres of land and both a five-minute drive from the Dum Dum airport. On one site,there were some encroachments like playgrounds but the other at Khaikhali was free from all encroachments and the team told us they liked that one, a senior state government said.
The NSG is going to set up two units - a big one which will be set up in the model of the one at Manesar in Haryana and a small one near the airport where a tiny contingent of the elite commando force will be stationed for emergency use. For the bigger unit the NSG requires about 1,200 acres of land.
On January 19,an NSG team came on its first visit to the city and they were shown two sites for the bigger unit Kalaikunda in West Midnapore district and Panagarh in Burdwan district. Both are defence land. The government has earmarked another 1,200-acre land at Barrackpore,which is also on defence land.
After the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai,the Central government decided to set up NSG hubs in four metro cities. While Kolkata and Mumbai have already been finalised,the Home Ministry is yet to decide on the two other cities where the NSG units will be set up.