BANGALORE: The Special Forces (SF) commandos in Bangalore are left in the lurch. They don’t have a place for the crucial parachute refresher training, also known as para-jumps. The Indian Army says they have identified an area at Hoskote Kere on the outskirts of Bangalore and have written to the Karnataka government seeking permission to notify 505 acres for the training. The Army opines the land is ideal for safe landing with the smooth soil able to absorb the impact.
The exercise (either a jump or drop) is performed from a chopper, AN-32 or IL-76 aircraft. In a free-fall jump, a paratrooper comes down at great speeds with severe g-force with the chute opening at one particular height. In the second option, the chute opens the moment a paratrooper is dropped.
The 2 Para Regiment (Special Forces) was allotted to Bangalore post 26/11, while Chennai and Kolkata got the NSG hub. Bangalore also houses the Indian Army’s Parachute Regimental Training Centre.
In 2010, the 2 Para SF set up base in Hebbal, with little known about its operations.
Documents with Express show that the Army first wrote to the state government in May 2010, requesting permission for utilising the land at Hoskote Kere for four weeks a year. The Army also gave an undertaking that no permanent assets would be built on the land. “The Army wanted the area notified to bar high-rise buildings from coming up in the vicinity, which might endanger the lives of paratroopers,” sources said.
Sources say the Army is upset with bureaucratic wrangles. The Bangalore Rural District collector finally granted permission for jumps between October 27 and 29 in 2010 in a letter dated October 20, 2010.
In 2011, the Army again wrote to the government for a repeat exercise, but is yet to get permission. This forced the paratroopers to be airlifted to Agra for their jumps. Now, the Army is again planning to take up the matter, seeking a permanent solution.