West Bengal to purchase modern gadgets for Nabanna security

KOLKATA: Following the NSG recommendations, the home department is all set to take several measures to beef up security at the state secretariat. On the instructions of department of CM security, it has decided to purchase ten optical fibrescopes, a modern gadget used to examine and inspect small, difficult-to-reach places such as the insides of machines and locks. The home department has also written to the finance department to sanction Rs 2.6 crore for the purpose.

In 2013-14 state budget, the allocation for home (police) — the department responsible for such purchases — was only Rs 84 crore. In 2017-18 budget, the amount is Rs 365 crore. “The National Scheme for Modernisation of Police was de-linked from central support in 2015. We now have to depend on the state finances for the purchase of such gadgets, but we can’t compromise with the security of the VVIPs. Previously, when three to five per cent of the allocation was used for the purchase of modern equipment, this time it may even go up to 8%,” a senior home department official said.

After the purchase of 30 pan-tilt-zoom cameras, this is the second set of the seven ultramodern security gadgets that the home department is planning to buy. An optical fibrescope is a flexible fibre optic bundle with an eye piece at one end and a lens on the other end used to examine small and difficult-to-reach places such as inside the locks, machines and human body. A flexible cable fits into hole as small as half an inch and helps you look beyond that. The NSG used this technology during 26/11 Mumbai attack to detect the terrorists.
 Apart from that, the state home department has sent a list of equipment to be purchased in the next financial year. The list includes real-time viewing system (an equipment designed to enable instant viewing of X-Ray shots on location), telescopic manipulator (an improved ability for bomb disposal technicians and operators to maximize their standoff distance), explosive trace detectors (an explosive detection equipment able to detect explosives of small magnitude), thermal imagers (high-resolution thermal imagers used to detect and locate concealed surveillance equipment hidden in homes and offices) and explosive vapour detector (a unique equipment that can detect vapours and trace quantities of explosives indoors and at any means of transport).

According to sources, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has given the nod to the purchase. “The threat perception on the chief minister and several other leaders and ministers is really high. Recently, Abhishek Banerjee and Sovan Chatterjee were provided with Z-plus security,” an official said.