NEW DELHI: Paramilitary forces will soon get more mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) for movement through violence-prone areas in regions such as Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, said officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday.
According to an MHA official familiar with developments, Rs 613.96 crore has been sanctioned for paramilitary forces to purchase additional MPVs, bullet-proof jackets and ambulances, among other equipment.
In a bid to further clamp down on casualties among forces, the ministry also sanctioned Rs 16.84 crore for buying seven new remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) for the anti-terror commando force, the National Security Guard (NSG).
Forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) use mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) for limited troop movement in areas affected by Left-Wing extremism and in Jammu and Kashmir — where militancy is rife. About six personnel can travel in one such four-wheeler. Additional MPVs will enhance the capabilities of paramilitary forces countering improvised explosives devices (IEDs), the official said.
The ROVs to be procured for the NSG, can carry out surveillance inside buildings, buses, metro trains and railway stations and can help forces locate and defuse IEDs without human intervention. They can climb a staircase or a slope of up to 45 degrees carrying a weight of 8 kg.
The new vehicles will have a modular mount for weapons (SMG, MP5 and shotgun), a de-armer disrupter and a real-time viewing system, another official said.
A large number of civilians and paramilitary personnel are killed or injured in Naxalism-affected areas as well as in Jammu and Kashmir because of IED explosions each year.
The NSG has already procured the Renault Sherpa Light Armoured Personnel Carrier. The machine has a 4.76 litre, 4-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine and can carry 10 personnel with a payload of 2.2 tons.