Srinagar, Dec 10: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a fresh budget for the J&K police under the police modernization program (PMP) with 100 fresh Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/drones on way for the police force to boost its technical capability.
MHA officials said as some UAVs and drones have already been procured by the J&KP out of its own budget in the past few years and the fresh consignment of around 100 UAVs will be added to the police kitty in the months ahead.
“We have approved the fresh consignment of UAVs to be procured by the J&K to lace its all crucial police stations across J&K with latest equipment. This will help J&K to boost its technical capability and to keep a close watch on the elements fomenting trouble,” he said, wishing not to be named.
In 2019, J&K Police had floated tenders to procure 50 drones but due to technical glitches, the process couldn’t complete on time. “The PHQ of J&K police has not floated fresh tenders to procure UAVs in the days ahead,” a police official said, adding that at present sensitive districts that include South Kashmir districts and Srinagar district have drones/UAVs available for the police force.
A source privy to the MHA’s plan of lacing the J&KP with latest gadgets and equipment’s said that the plan is to provide at least two to three UAV’s/Drones to each police station in a phased manner.
“The procurement of 100 drones is just a beginning and in the months ahead, each police station will be covered. At present, a total funding Rs 200 crore stands sanctioned under 90:10 ratio for J&K UT,” the official said.
An official the PHQ said that they have already floated tenders for UAV purchase and after the completion of the process police could get UAVs.
“The UAVs or drone system will be of category 3 which is considered the latest and equipped with the technology required by the police especially in Kashmir given its terrain and mountainous region,” the official said.
Besides dealing in law and order, the Jammu and Kashmir police are also involved in anti-militancy operations. An official in the police force said that UAVs will help trace militant locations and also help in a great way in “operations agents militants, dealing with crime and criminals, aerial sanitization of an area where there is a VIP movement etc.”
The police earlier used to seek assistance from army units for using drones. Officials, however, said after the procurement of drones or UAVs, the police will become more tech savvy especially in the Kashmir. An official said that experts will train a batch of officials to operate these drones. “After receiving the fresh consignment, trainers will be deputed to each district to train the functions of UAVs and drones,” a police official said—(KNO)