In a bid to strengthen security at critical installations like power plants, ports and dams, Gujarat government has decided to create an additional battalion of State Reserve Police (SRP) of 1,200 armed personnel.
At present, Gujarat has 19 SRP battalions comprising around 1,000 armed men and women personnel each stationed at various places across the state. This will be the 20th such battalion, a senior police official said.
Apart from guarding the "critical infrastructure", the new battalion will also be utilised to maintain law and order, state in-charge Inspector General of Armed Unit (SRP) S S Trivedi said.
According to him, the state Home department recently gave administrative approval for the formation of the new battalion.
"It will be the 20th such SRP battalion in the state. Apart from guarding various government infrastructures, such as dams, we will utilise the force for the purpose of maintaining law and order as and when needed," Trivedi said.
The process to select a suitable place for accommodating the new battalion is underway, he added.
Out of the 19 existing battalions, one each has been allotted to Centre-owned ONGC, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam to protect the dam as well as canals and the newly-created Marine Task Force, according to a resolution passed by the Home department.
Explaining the need to create a new battalion, the resolution cited the request made by several government departments demanding allocation of force to protect their infrastructure.
Now, the state government has decided to form a new SRP battalion by recruiting 1,200 armed personnel with an initial cost of Rs 50 lakh, the resolution stated.
The new battalion will be headed by a commandant called Senapati. Others to be inducted include three deputy superintendents of police, seven inspectors, 25 sub-inspectors (PSIs), eight other PSIs of wireless unit, 95 assistant sub-Inspectors, 97 head constables and 847 constables.
The battalion will also have various other support staff, such as radio operators, medical officers, cooks, servants, electricians, typists, barbers and cleaners, the resolution added.