Srinagar: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a fresh budget for the Jammu and Kashmir Police under its Police Modernization Program (PMP) with 100 fresh Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/drones on way for the police force to boost its technical capability, KNO reported, quoting unnamed MHA officials.
Though some UAVs and drones have already been procured by the J&K Police out of its own budget in the past few years, the fresh consignment of around 100 UAVs will be added to the police kitty in the months to come.
“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 the latest equipment. This will help J&K to boost its technical capability and to keep a close watch on the elements fomenting trouble,” an official told KNO on the condition of anonymity.
In 2019, J&K Police had floated tenders to procure 50 drones but due to technical glitches, the process could not be completed on time.
“The Police Headquarters (PHQ) of J&K police has 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&K Police with latest gadgets and equipment are told KNO that the plan is to provide at least two to three UAVs/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, total funding of Rs 200 crore stands sanctioned under 90:10 ratio for J&K UT,” the official said.
An official from PHQ said they have already floated tenders for UAV purchase. “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.
An official in the police force said that UAVs will also 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 fresh 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,” a police official said. (KNO)