New Delhi: In a measure to meet the shortage of helicopters while launching campaign against Naxals, the Home Ministry has decided to hire half a dozen copters within two months. State governments can also take choppers from private companies to meet the Maoist challenge.

The Home Ministry has also decided to provide Rs 200 crore for modernisation of police stations in the Naxal-affected areas.

In a meeting with Directors General of Police of Naxal-affected states, Home Minister P Chidambaram assured that the shortage of helicopters will be met soon.

The Home Ministry will acquire large-sized MI-17 and other helicopters from private companies on lease and have assured to make them available to states by September this year.

The decision to use helicopters in non-combat operations in Naxal-affected areas was taken by the government nearly a year ago and currently choppers from BSF and Air Force are being used for such operations.

The DGP of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have presented the campaign report to the Centre during the review meeting which takes place after every six months.

Orissa and Madhya Pradesh have demanded to include few more districts in the list of Naxal-affected areas.


(JPN/Bureau)