Services' vice chiefs get financial powers for security upgrades
New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has delegated financial powers to the Vice Chiefs of all three armed services to carry on perimeter security upgradation of sensitive defence installations, an official statement said on Thursday.
This comes days after the ministry decided to delegate financial power to the Army Vice Chief to make hardware procurements up to Rs 40,000 crore to meet critical deficiencies. The army has identified critical deficiencies in 46 types of ammunition and certain spares for 10 types of weapon platforms.
On Thursday, the statement said in an "unprecedented move", the Ministry has decided to delegate substantial financial powers to the armed forces for undertaking works for perimeter security of sensitive military installations.A
"This has been done primarily to expedite the decision making process involved in the modernisation of the security apparatus of airbases and defence installations. The Vice Chiefs of the three Services have been empowered to place orders, procure equipment and carry out civil works without further seeking approvals of the MoD (Defence Ministry)," it said, terming it a significant jump in the powers currently exercised by them.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has also fixed strict timelines to ensure that the works are undertaken on priority and in a time-bound manner to ensure full security of critical defence assets.
Following the attack on Pathankot Airbase on January 2, 2016,a committee was formed under former Army Vice Chief, Lt.Gen. Philip Campose, which had three army officers, and one officer each from the air force and navy. It submitted its report on May 20, 2016, and subsequently guidelines were issued to all defence establishment on enhancing security based on its recommendations, comprising short term, and mid and long term measures.
Framing a standard operating procedure on the security of defence establishments, it divided them different categories based on threat perception - around 600 establishment under CAT A category, the highest priority category, around 1000 each in CAT B and CAT C, and 200 in CAT D, according to sources.
The long term measures include installation of technology based security infrastructure, positioning of well-trained, armed and equipped 'Quick Reaction Teams' (QRTs) at high threat and high priority military bases, and conduct of periodic security audits among other suggestions.
The short term measures include perimeter security and access control by hardening perimeter fences, lighting, intrusion alarm, surveillance camera.
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