NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry has approved an air courier service for Central paramilitary forces to ferry personnel from Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast to Delhi and back. The Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar return service will operate six days a week and the Delhi-Dibrugarh-Guwahati service twice a week. Officers from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast will be the main beneficiaries.
According to an internal note circulated in the BSF, an aircraft with a seating capacity of 144 will be used for the courier service that is likely to start from January 1.
“The move is expected to significantly save man-days of personnel going on leave. It will also boost the morale of paramilitary forces that continuously face high risk and hardship during deployment in insurgency-hit Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast,” a senior CRPF official said.
Officials said the service would be available for Central paramilitary personnel twice a year. It is subsequently expected to include the travel of family members too, on the lines of a similar service already available for defence personnel. Defence personnel are entitled to travel thrice a year. Their family members are also entitled the same.
The BSF Air Wing under the Union Home Ministry will provide the service for paramilitary personnel. Earlier this year, the BSF Air Wing inducted its own pilots and crew. Prior to that, BSF aircraft were being operated by Indian Air Force personnel.
The Home Ministry had recently approved the highest category risk and hardship allowance for CRPF personnel deployed in 10 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.