Chief Minister Oommen Chandy laid the foundation stone for a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion headquarters at Peruvannamuzhi in Chakkittapara village here on Monday.

Mr. Chandy spoke through videoconferencing from Thiruvananthapuram as he was indisposed and could not travel.

He said the headquarters would pave way for the development of Peruvannamuzhi.

“Once the CRPF headquarters starts functioning, it will bring all-round development of the region around Peruvannamuzhi. In the area around the CRPF camp at Peringome, a township has been developed. New hospitals and a Kendriya Vidyalaya have started functioning,” Mr. Chandy said.

The headquarters, once completed, will be the third such facility in Kerala, the other two being at Pallippuram and Peringome.

Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran, who presided over the function, said the Chief Minister had suggested the setting up of one more battalion in South Kerala. Around 100 acres of land belonging to the leprosy sanatorium at Nooranad in Alappuzha district is under consideration for the centre.

“The CRPF headquarters will come up in the 80 acres of land handed over by the Water Resources Department. It will ensure home posting for those from Kerala. It will consist of training facilities for the jawans posted here, of which 50 to 60 per cent would be Keralites. Besides, there will be housing quarters for the jawans’ families and facilities such as Central school and hospital,” said P.M. Nair, Director General of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

The Centre will ensure the services of the force in case of emergency in North Kerala. Recruitments for North Kerala will be held henceforth in this centre.

Mr. Nair said a team of the NDRF would be stationed in North Kerala, most probably in Kozhikode, in view of frequent natural disasters like landslips in the region. Now, the nearest NDRF team is stationed in Tamil Nadu and hence the response time is longer. The team in North Kerala will be stationed in such a way that they can be made available to the border districts of Karnataka as well in case of emergencies.

Director General of the CRPF K. Vijayakumar gave the welcome address. Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash and District Collector K.V. Mohankumar were present.

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