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Mosquito terror troubles newly-inaugurated Mumbai NSG hub

Last updated on: February 23, 2012 20:33 IST

Mosquito terror troubles newly-inaugurated Mumbai NSG hub

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Toral varia Deshpande in Mumbai

On occasion of the inauguration of the Mumbai Regional Hub of the National Security Guard Director General Rajan Medekar spoke to rediff.com's Toral Varia Deshpande

Its been almost three years since the Mumbai NSG hub has been operational. Today, NSG Mumbai hub's permanent structure has been inaugurated. However, there are still some serious civic issues that need attention. What are those?

There is a high tension wire that passes through our campus. It's extremely dangerous as it affects the landing, taking off and flight path of NSG choppers. Also, the wire passes through the officers' residential area.

Secondly, if you look at the hub, it's in close proximity to the Mithi River, and the bridge over there is only a pedestrian bridge.

We would like to request the Maharashtra government to widen the bridge and make it motorable, so that we can have a third point of entry and exit in an emergency situation. Lastly, even though it's a good piece of land, it is in an extremely congested part of Mumbai. 

Hence, we would like to keep this area clean and maintainable. And for that, we would want the civic body to help us keep the area free of filth and garbage.

In an open address on the occasion of the inauguration you have made these three requests to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in front of the entire strength of Mumbai NSG hub. However, the chief minister chose to be non-committal. How do you plan to pursue this?

We have already raised these issues in writing as well, and I have met the concerned people in person. We are hopeful that these concerns will be addressed soon.

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Image: (l to r) Union Home minister P Chidambaram, Home minister R R Patil, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and National Security Guard Director General Rajan Medekar (in uniform)
Photographs: Sahil Salve

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Mosquito terror troubles newly-inaugurated Mumbai NSG hub

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The area, as placed it is, is very close to Mithi and hence, a breeding ground for mosquitoes. How do you plan to battle the flooding and the mosquito breeding issue?

As they say, it's easier to kill a tiger but difficult to kill a mosquito. But we have a doctor here in the station to ensure the fitness of our boys. We undertake regular fogging and defogging exercises to try and curb the breeding of mosquitoes.

And since we are located in a low-lying area, we have to be very careful about the flooding issue. As a result, we have spent substantially on the drainage system and have ensured that it remains clean.  A special drainage has been constructed which throws the rain water directly into the Mithi.

So hopefully, there will be no flooding. Of course, in future, we will need continuous maintenance, and for that we will need assistance of the local civic body.

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Image: Chidaram and Chavan inspecting the hub
Photographs: Sahil Salve/Rediff.com

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Mosquito terror troubles newly-inaugurated Mumbai NSG hub

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Anyone who lives in Mumbai can vouch that Marol isn't the most ideal location for a strategic force such as the NSG. Are you happy with the location?

Beggars cannot be choosers. Besides, who won't be happy with a 20-acre plot in Mumbai.

Firing range is a concern.

Yes that's true. At the moment we have about a 35-metre range within the Mumbai Hub. Most of the time, we use the police firing range for the practice which is about 200 meters and for a more rigorous practice we routinely send our commandos from Mumbai to Manesar headquarters in batches.

All this, because it is impossible to build a full-fledged firing range (say, about 1 km) in a city like Mumbai.


Image: NSG commandos displaying their skills
Photographs: Sahil Salve/Rediff.com

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