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Anti-Naxal ops: NTRO base to be operational next year

The first base of the country’s specialised technical snoop department NTRO will be made fully operational by early next year in Chhattisgarh to aid anti- Naxal operations and fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to help security forces track Maoist activities.

The centre will come up at the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) facility in Durg and will host technicians and authorities of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), sources privy to the development said.

The key project has already been activated with the initial establishment of five satellite-linked terminal stations at a designated location in the state.

The sources said the CRPF has also linked the operations of its 10 UAVs with the new facility which will function round-the-clock.

The station will act as a gateway for acquiring satellite data and pass them on to ground patrol parties. The UAVs can then be operated in specified areas for aiding troops on ground.

A lease agreement for use of BSP airstrips for NTRO sponsored sorties have already been finalised sometime back, the sources said.

The centre will have the facility to analyse information about geographical features, weather, available troop reinforcements and logistics before the on-field commanders undertake an operation.

The facility, which will be manned by NTRO-trained Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) ‘Signals’ officials, will also share intelligence and geographical information with the NTRO headquarters in Delhi.

Parking bays for the UAVs will also be created in the next few months based on a similar facility of the NTRO in Begumpet near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
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