JAMMU, Aug 9: The Union Cabinet today approved raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) including one for Jammu and Kashmir, at an estimated cost of Rs 637 crore.
“The four NDRF battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region,” an official statement issued by the Government after Union Cabinet meeting today, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said. Presently, there are 12 NDRF battalions deployed across the country, which keep on shifting depending on the demand and situation.
It said objective of raising four additional battalions of NDRF is to reduce the response time keeping in view the vast geographic area of the country. Out of four new battalions, three have been given to the Himalayan States including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which are prone to disasters like floods, earthquakes etc, which required immediate help of the NDRF personnel.
Presently, the NDRF to all these hilly States, which have tough terrain, has to be rushed in case of any disaster, from New Delhi. However, with one battalion each being stationed in these three States, the NDRF will be able to react very quickly and respond to the call by the State Government to meet with any eventuality during the disasters.
“These four battalions will initially be raised as two battalions in Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and one battalion each in Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles (ARs),” the official statement said.
It added that later these four battalions will be converted into NDRF battalions. Based on the vulnerability profile, these four battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region.
“The NDRF is a specialized force, which was created in the year 2006 for the purpose of specialist response during the natural and man-made disaster of threatening situation. At present, there are 12 battalions in NDRF, which are deployed strategically across the country to provide immediate response,” the statement said, adding that with raising of four more battalions, the total number of NDRF battalions will go up to 16.
Each battalion will comprise 1,000 recruits.
The cost of raising the battalions is estimated to be Rs 637 crore.