CWG venues yet to be locked down as work still on

Security agencies could not ensure a complete lockdown of all Commonwealth Games venues, including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, at midnight on Friday as authorities failed to finish work at some of the facilities.

Updated: Sep 25, 2010, 12:27 PM IST

New Delhi: Security agencies could not
ensure a complete lockdown of all Commonwealth Games venues,
including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, at midnight on Friday as
authorities failed to finish work at some of the facilities.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had on September 23
issued a stern warning to organisers to complete the work at
stadiums by Friday night and hand them over to Delhi Police,
the nodal security agency for the Games, for lockdown at

Sources said a complete security lockdown of some of
the venues, including the main Games venue of Jawaharlal Nehru
stadium, could not be put in place last night as finishing
works were not complete there.

"The work is on at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and some
other venues. In many venues, we have imposed the lockdown. We
expect to take over the remaining venues by evening," a senior
official said.

Sources said the security personnel are facing
difficulties while guarding the Commonwealth Games Village and
other venues due to frequent movement of labourers who were
engaged for different unfinished tasks.

Ideally, they said, a complete security lockdown
should be put in place a month before the event is to

However, they said, security was in full force and
there was no need to worry. The initial plan was to have a
lockdown from September 15 but it was extended to September 22
midnight which also could not be met.

The Games Village has become operational without a
complete lockdown as athletes have started arriving, the
official said, adding they have, however, sanitised the area
before the delegates came.

A large number of armed policemen, including
paramilitary personnel, have been deployed across the stadia
and Village. Sophisticated gadgets have also been installed at
the stadia.

The security has been stepped up across the city after
Sunday`s firing incident at Jama Masjid that injured two
Taiwanese nationals.

Delhi Police have conducted various drills, including
anti-sabotage checks once they take over possession of the
venues, the official said.

Concerns were earlier raised about the delay in
handing over venues to security agencies as some quarters felt
that it would hamper the security preparations.

Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal, however, had
downplayed the delay and said the force was prepared to handle
the security issues related to the sporting extravaganza.

"We know the stadia and surrounding areas. We know the
city very well. So securing them or other areas will not be a
problem," Dadwal had said when asked whether the delay in
completion of Games projects was compromising security

Heli-borne snipers, four-layered security cordon
around Commonwealth Games venues and exclusive lanes for Games
vehicles were among the components of the mammoth security
plan for the event.

The security plan prepared for the mega event, which
will see participation of around 8,500 athletes from 71
countries competing in 17 events, also envisages snipers on
roof-tops, commando hit teams and expert groups to tackle any
chemical, biological, radio-active or nuclear attacks.

Air Force will provide surveillance from the skies.
Heli-borne assault teams will also be deployed to thwart any
terror strikes.

"We are closely working with central intelligence
agencies. The Air Force will be surveying the airspace. We
will have heli-borne snipers patrolling the skies," the
official said.

According to the plan, the venues, Games Village,
practice and parking lots and the Indira Gandhi International
Airport where athletes arrive will have a four-layered
security cordon.

At the outer cordon, the traffic will be stopped and
access controlled. At the middle cordon, security-men will
channelise the spectators to their designated seats while in
the inner cordon, barcode reading of tickets will take place
and spectators` photographs taken.

At the centre would be an exclusion zone which is in
the 30-m-radius of the stadium, where spectators and others
will have to go through door-frame metal detectors and X-ray
scanning besides manual searching.

Mobile Quick Reaction teams will be deployed on the
outer perimeter of the venues besides a close watch through
CCTV surveillance.

The Games Village will also have a similar elaborate
security arrangement. The boundary of the village will have a
three metre high perimeter wall, a 1.5-m-high iron grill on
top of it, mobile QRTs and CCTV surveillance system.

Elaborate arrangements are also made for the entry for
athletes and vehicles into the Village. After entering the
Village following a thorough check, the athletes can freely
move around the residential and dining halls.

For vehicles, the drivers will have to pass through
radio frequency identity checking where the number plates are
checked to see whether are authorised to enter the place.

There is a boom barrier and it will be opened only
after the vehicle clears the radio frequency checking. But if
somebody tries to forcefully enter, there will be a tyre-
killer and even if the vehicle clears it, the road blocker
will block the passage of the vehicle.

"All food prepared and served for Games guests in
hotels will be sorted by security personnel and tasted by food
experts," the official said.