With National Highways (NHs) becoming the favourite spot of protest, the Centre is now considering setting up a special force to meet the challenges relating to crime-related issues, traffic control and rescue operations.
Revealing this a senior Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official said, “The idea was mooted by the Ministry of Roads and Highways which had proposed to raise a new force under its own administrative control on the lines of Railways Protection Force. A note regarding this had come to us for consultation.”
The MHA, however, is learnt to have rejected the proposal as it was proposed, but the ministry has “agreed to look for ways to find a workable measure to be taken, as it involves states and their jurisdictions”.
“Talks and discussions are going on with the Ministry of Road and Highways. After several rounds of meeting it has been decided to build the entire apparatus of security, which involves policing, traffic management and rescue operations,” the official said.
As the officials shared the details relating to the development, it was found that the MHA, before consulting the states, is working on three options, which include raising a force on the lines Government Railway Police (GRP) by sourcing personnel from state police within their respective territories, giving the entire responsibility to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) or raising a separate force only for NHs.
The officials in the MHA are of view that certainly there is a special need to have a dedicated force to man the highways given the inter-state nature of the network, frequent protests and blockade of such roads.
“Highways are not broken into state boundaries and several things happen there, which often acquire inter-state dimension and they require response from a unified command,” the official noted.