New Delhi: The country's elite counter-terror force NSG has curtailed its expansion plans and induction of 5,000 personnel due to non-availability of land for creation of a new regional centre in West Bengal.
   
Top sources in the Home Ministry and the 'black cats' force said that while NSG has got a 600-acre land in Hyderabad for its regional centre, the force had to contend with 35 acres for a similar facility in West Bengal.
   
This development, sources said, has held back NSG's plan to absorb the fresh strength of more than 10,000 personnel on deputation from the Army and central paramilitary forces. The force has now phased its strengthening plan and will only induct 5,000 men in the first go.
   
The National Security Guard (NSG) was sanctioned a fresh strength of 10,904 personnel in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks and these men were stipulated to be housed in the four new hubs and two regional centres at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.
   
"The NSG strengthening plan, in terms of manpower, will be delayed. As and when the force gets additional land it will induct the rest 5,000 men and house them after they are trained and modelled on the pattern of the elite force," an official source said.
   
The existing hubs, with 241 combat commandos and those from the central paramilitary forces, have been established at Marol (23 acres) in Mumbai, Nedunkundram (85 acres) in Chennai, Trimulghery (22 acres) in Hyderabad and Badu (20 acres) in Kolkata.

The NSG, for operational reasons, had decided that the hubs at Hyderabad and Kolkata will merge with the bigger regional centres but due to glitches in identifying land and now getting a far less amount of land than what it wanted in West Bengal, the force has begun re-doing its planning for training and positioning its anti-terror and anti-hijack commandos.
   
When fully operational, the regional centres will have 5,150 personnel each.
   
The decision to deploy NSG commandos at strategic locations in the country and reduce their 'strike time' for conducting "swift" operations was taken in the aftermath of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

(Agencies)