The state government claimed on Monday that the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Mumbai Police will take seven minutes to reach any place in the city that comes under a terror attack.
“Within seven minutes, teams of QRT will reach the spot. They undergo continuous training and have been posted across the city. If there is any traffic, the time may go up to nine minutes,” Home Minister R R Patil told The Indian Express.
Four years after the 26/11 attack, the city is better equipped to tackle such contingency through QRT, one unit of the elite Force One and the newly-established hub of the National Security Guards (NSG). This three-tier response of the security forces has been developed after 26/11, when it took several hours for the NSG team to reach Mumbai.
Teams of QRT are posted in various regions of Mumbai. Force One, modeled on the NSG and trained by the agency, was formed after the attacks to tackle any such combat situation in the city and state. A hub of NSG has also been set up in Mumbai.
Maharashtra police has ensured a separate cadre and direct recruitment for the intelligence wing, which was recommended by the two-member Ram Pradhan Committee. The committee was set up by the government to look into the terror attack, point out lapses on part of the police and recommend measures to improve the city’s security set-up. The report was partially accepted by the government and recommendations to strengthen Intelligence Wing, better equipment and co-ordination between agencies were taken up.
“We have implemented most recommendations made by the Ram Pradhan committee,” said Patil.
No bidders: Deadline for bullet-proof tyres gets extension
Lack of response to Mumbai police’s tenders for bullet-proof tyres has stalled its plans to upgrade the force’s security. With no supplier coming forward even after the deadline, police have had to extend the last date for submission of bids.
Sources said a tender was floated on November 1 for procurement of the tyres with extra rims and run-flat system that allows a vehicle to move some distance even if a tyre bursts. The last date for bids was set as November 22.
DCP (motor transport) Atul Patil said, “We have extended the deadline by a month. Suppliers may need more time before bididng.” He added that the lack of response was not a major setback in terms of the city’s security.
“Procuring the tyres was only a precautionary measure. We don’t have a dire need for bullet-proof tyres. It is just one of the many measures that the police department is taking to strengthen ourselves,” he said.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Sharad Pawar and Governor K Sankaranrayanan on Monday paid homage to the martyrs of 26/11, at a memorial erected at Police Gymkhana.
Divya Salaskar, daughter of slain senior inspector Vijay Salaskar, said during the event, “The city and people of Mumbai will never forget 26/11; neither should the government. Kasab’s hanging was a step forward but this is not the end of terrorism.”
Also present were the Commissioner of Mumbai Police and Kavita Karkare, wife of slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare.
“The real culprits have to be brought to book. Even today, Mumbai is not entirely safe. There have been terror strikes in and around the city after 26/11. This needs to be addressed,” said Kavita.