Thursday, Jun 30, 2005
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SHOWING THE WAY: A unified signboard for the three services of Armed Forces installed at a vantage point on Avinashi Road in Coimbatore. Photo: K. Ananthan
COIMBATORE: Probably next to Chennai, Coimbatore could boast of having a unit office of all major forces in the country be it defence or paramilitary.
Known as the Manchester of South India, Coimbatore well known for its salubrious climate and enterprising industrial houses has also become a hub of activities for the defence and paramilitary forces.
Coimbatore housed an Army Station Headquarters at Red Fields besides the 110 Infantry Battalion i.e., Territorial Army, the Civilian Armed Force.
The City also has Sulur Defence Air Base on the outskirts and an Air Force Administrative College (AFAC) at Red Fields as well. Despite being an offshore town, banking on Kochi in the neighbouring Kerala for logistical requirements, the City houses INS Agrani, a training institution for sailors and navy officers.
Interestingly, but for the Air Field of the Sulur Defence Air base every other establishment is located close to each other at Red Fields in the heart of the town.
The Group Headquarters of the NCC is also located in the same area. Coimbatore in addition to its Special Police Battalion at Kovaipudur also has an upcoming unit headquarters of the Border Security Force at Thekkalur near Avanashi, while Rapid Action Force, riot combat wing of the Central Paramilitary Force is now headquartered at Vellalore.
The 1997 riots and the 1998 serial blasts saw this elite force being relocated from Malappuram in Kerala.
It has come to stay here because of the communal sensitivity.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) also has its Central Training College II at Kurudampalayam near Periyanaickenpalayam on the outskirts of the City.
A release from these defence establishments said that these three establishments have unified their signboards into a single aesthetically appealing board.
Commodore G. Theograj, Commanding Officer of INS Agrani and Col.D.V Raja, Station Commander of the Army supported the concept of a unified signboard mooted by Air Commodore V.K. Dayalu of AFAC.
To make Coimbatoreans know the presence of these defence establishments, these three agencies have come together to put up unified sign boards in three prominent places like Avanashi Road (entry point of Kamaraj Road), Sungam round-about (entry point to Red Fields from Tiruchi Road) and at Thomas Park (entry point from Race Course).
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