New Delhi: Three years after its inception, National Investigation Agency is all set to expand its wings by opening three new offices and increasing the organization strength from existing 400 to nearly 900.

The NIA was set up in the aftermath of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks following an Act passed by the Parliament and is entrusted with cases related to terror.

The government has decided to create nearly 500 more posts raising the strength of the counter-terror agency to 900 besides opening offices in Lucknow, Kochi and Mumbai, officials said, adding that the Home Ministry proposal received a cabinet nod recently.

The process to recruit new personnel -- both direct recruit as well as on deputations -- will be started soon.

"We got the sanction for new posts. We have also received approval for opening three new offices in Lucknow, Kochi and Mumbai," a senior official said.

The need for opening up of offices in the three cities was felt as Uttar Pradesh is being used by terrorists to infiltrate from Nepal. The state's porous border with Nepal is also being used for smuggling fake Indian currency notes into the country.

Mumbai, being a commercial capital of the country, has been often made terror target while Kerala is being used by some terror groups as a recruitment ground for over ground workers who carried of reconnaissance and also indulged in hawala rackets.

Currently, the NIA staff strength is around 400 personnel which include one Director General, one Special Director General, two Inspector Generals, eight Deputy Inspector Generals and 14 SPs.

The new sanctioned posts include IGs, DIGs and SPs and they would help in strengthening the organisation, which has been facing problem due to insufficient staff.

The NIA presently has its headquarters in New Delhi and two branch offices in Guwahati and Hyderabad and a sub-office in Mumbai.

"Full-fledged three new offices will also help the NIA in its various probe and coordinate with state and central security agencies," the official said.

Ever since its formation, the NIA has so far taken over 28 cases, including eight in 2011.

The major cases the NIA is probing include the September 7 blast near the Delhi High Court, the 2006 and 2007 blasts in Malegaon and 2007 blast in Ajmer Sharif Dargah.

(Agencies)