Command centre at Stevns Fortress used in Denmark during the Cold War

by Debashish Karmakar

PATNA: An ultramodern war room is almost ready at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Bihar sector headquarters in Patna for anti-Maoist operations across the state. 

The process to set up an 11-person capacity war room began last year and most of the sophisticated equipment required for its functioning has been installed. CRPF sources said the war room is most advanced the CRPF has in the country. They said it would boost anti-Maoist operations as officers at the Bihar sector headquarters would be able to directly communicate and guide troops engaged in any harsh situation or heavy exchange of fire.

A top CRPF official said the war room would be a game changer as the officers and commanders could see live feed from Israeli manufactured unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Heron, which would be a massive help in anti-Maoist operations for assisting in any search and destroying the ultra groups. Earlier, troops had to wait for several crucial minutes to get aerial footage from Heron. CRPF also uses Defence Research and Development Organisation’s UAV Netra, which could also be linked with the war room.

“Till now, Heron had hovered over Bihar twice during anti-Maoist operations from its operational base for providing feedback to troops on enemy movements,” a top CRPF official said, denying to disclose about the time and area when it had made surveillance over Bihar.

He also refused to divulge flight time and further details about UAV’s operational base location citing national security. He said CRPF’s small-scale facility to downlink Heron’s feed is presently available in Gaya. CRPF sources said presently they have four kinds of map procured from Geological Survey of India (GSI) and other sources for operational use.

“First is a topographical map displaying boundaries while second is geological map showing roads. Third is Survey of India (SOI) map, also known as defence map, which displays 187 features including slope, gradient, height, villages and drainage and last is the Google map. These maps are superimposed in different combination according to requirement,” sources said.

They said multiple large LED screens are installed in the room to view these maps, location and troop movements through satellite tracking system and GPS facility.

“Each troop has individual round-the-clock satellite tracking system. It had an emergency button on it. If pressed, siren would go off in the war room, HQ control room and other locations to alert all officers,” sources said, adding audiovisual communication with troops is possible in the war room. Sources said the trackers send continuous signal to war room.