New Delhi: For the first time, a squad of 125 specially trained CISF personnel will guard Pragati Maidan, the sprawling exhibitions facility in the heart of the national capital, in view of possible threats to the events held there.
The CISF and Delhi police will coordinate security duties at the venue even as the standard operating procedures are being finalised by the Union Home Ministry in this regard, sources said.
This is the first time the venue will get armed security cover. The squad should be in place by next month, they said.
A proposal was moved in this regard by the India Trade Promotion Organisation, which is the country`s premier trade promotion agency under the ministry of commerce and industry.
ITPO is tasked with showcasing excellence achieved by the country in diverse fields, especially trade and commerce through exhibitions and fairs.
The CISF will be tasked with securing activities round-the-clock at the 124-acre campus, which offers about 61,290 sq metres of covered exhibition space in 16 halls, besides 10,000 sq metres of open display area.
ITPO chief and CMD Rita Menon had earlier said security was needed in view of vulnerability of the venue to any probable trouble situation.
"The security of exhibitors, buyers and visitors is of paramount importance for us and we require a disciplined mechanism to secure the premises from threat of any kind," Menon had said.
The Pragati Maidan complex witnesses huge rush of visitors during popular exhibitions like Auto Expo, book fair and trade fairs and display stalls on a variety of businesses are a regular feature at the campus virtually round the year.
Security sources said terror vulnerability profile of the facility and access points has been carried out by experts and paramilitary officials.
A special vehicle-borne and sophisticated arms equipped squad of the Central Industrial Security Force will be deployed at Pragati Maidan complex to respond to any terror situation and access control to the exhibitions area will be monitored by another team of the squad with help from private security guards.
The ITPO has also begun ear-marking designated spots for placing security gadgets of the CISF like X-ray baggage scanners, metal detectors and barracks for paramilitary personnel.