BANGALORE: The Karnataka government is in no mood to drag its feet into yet another controversy with a battalion of woes already chasing them. When Express sought the state’s version to the Army’s plea for a safe drop zone (DZ) for its paratroopers in Hoskote Kere, a senior government official wanted the Army not to lose heart. He also felt that had the Army put a well-oiled follow-up mechanism in place, a totally different story could have unfolded.
“We have never backed out of our responsibilities in supporting our armed forces. We keep getting requests from the IAF, CRPF, Navy and many more from time to time. We recently allotted land to the CRPF in Belgaum. We are ready to help and take decisions above the board when in comes to our defence forces,” the senior official said.
When it was brought to the official’s notice that the Army officials were made to run from pillar to post, the official said: “Let them not lose heart and be patient. The said land in Hoskote is a dried tank bed and there are court rulings in notifying them. I am sure that the local people in the area would benefit in every way if an Army unit comes up there.”
With none from local Army units wanting to comment, sources in the Army HQ directly dealing with the 2 Para (SF) told Express that the matter had already reached them. “To a paratrooper every jump matters and it is evaluated by instructors. The availability of air support and safe ground areas are two key things. With the unit moving to Bangalore, it was essential that such facility was available to the paratroopers near the base. When the permission was getting delayed in Bangalore, we directed the local units (Bangalore) to do a recce of an area in Thoranagallu (Bellary). But, they found the land not suitable for jump with rough pebbles all over. We want our soldiers not to bleed during training, but to sweat hard,” the official said.
He said para jumps at Hoskote Kere would project the role of Indian Army in Karnataka. “It would act as deterrence to any evil designs, in addition to reducing the burden on the exchequer in moving the personnel from Bangalore to Agra and back,” the official told Express.