Centre clears Delhi Metro’s Airport Line security

Ending days of uncertainty, the government today formally decided to hand over the security of Delhi Metro`s most sensitive Airport Express corridor to the CISF, paving the way for the inauguration of the line marred by delays.

New Delhi: Ending days of uncertainty, the
government today formally decided to hand over the security of
Delhi Metro`s most sensitive Airport Express corridor to the
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), paving the way for
the inauguration of the line marred by delays.

If things go according to plan and a formal agreement
between CISF and DAMEPL is reached at the earliest, the line
will start ferrying passengers from next week.
The go-ahead to CISF to man the high-speed corridor
came during a high-level meeting chaired by Home Secretary G K
Pillai which was also attended by officials from CISF, the
Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) and the
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

The decision by the Home Ministry ends the uncertainty
surrounding the the country`s first Metro Line to come up on
the public-private-partnership (PPP) model and clears the
decks for its opening.

While the Central government and Delhi Metro were keen
on deploying CISF on the corridor like other metro lines in
the capital, the Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium wanted
its own security personnel to guard it.

Sources said the decision to hand over the security of
the line to CISF was taken after detailed discussions on the
23-km corridor with the stakeholders concerned. They said over
250 (rpt) over 250 CISF personnel could be deployed to guard
the six stations and other main areas of the corridor.

The private security guards, who have been trained by
DAMEPL, will man other areas of the corridor, they said.

Along with personnel, the CISF will also post vehicle-
borne Quick Reaction Teams at the stations.
A spokesperson of the DAMEPL said, "According to the
Ministry of Home Affairs, the core security for Airport
Express Line will be taken care by the CISF."

Sources in the DMRC also confirmed that the security
issue has been resolved and that CISF will guard the stations
on the corridor.

The decision also brings curtains on the discussions
CISF and DAMEPL have been holding since mid-January. A formal
agreement between the two is likely to be signed in the next
few days.

It has been 25 days since the Commissioner of Metro
Rail Safety (CMRS) R K Kardam gave the go-ahead for the line
with a condition that it should be opened only after a
decision is taken on the security issue.

Today`s meeting was convened by the Home Ministry at
the instance of the Delhi Metro, which wrote to the Home
Ministry last month seeking a meeting between CISF and DAMEPL
to end the stalemate.

The link has missed three deadlines ? October 3
(Commonwealth Games), October 31 and December 31 -- set by the
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Union Urban Development
Ministry.
Initially, trains on the line will run at a speed of
105 km per hour as against the promised speed of 120 kmph due
to restrictions imposed by CMRS. However, the speed will be
increased soon after its receives the nod from Research,
Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).

The corridor had failed the first safety test in
September 2010 and missed its Commonwealth Games deadline.
During the earlier inspection, Kardam had problems with speed
trials of the trains.

DMRC officials the Line may start with a 16-hour run
initially from 6 am to 10 pm and gradually increased. The
consortium says it is ready to run even for 20 hours a day.

The line will open with four stations - New Delhi,
Shivaji Stadium, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sec-21. Two other
stations - Dhaula Kuan and Aerocity - may open a little later.

The prospects of of having check-in counters at select
stations on the corridor is also growing brighter with
national carrier Air India expressing willingness to set
up such a facility.

While talks with Air India on setting up check-in
counters at New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium and Dhaula Kuan
stations are at an advanced stage, sources close to the
development said negotiations were also on with private
airlines like Jet and Kingfisher.
Trains on the line will be different from the normal
Metro trains and have been procured from CAF, Spain which also
supplied trains to Hong Kong airport metro and London`s
Heathrow Express.

The Airport Express Line is the first metro line in
the country to come up on PPP model. After creating civil
structures, the DMRC has handed over the line over to Reliance
Infrastructure which will run the high-speed corridor for 30
years.

This will also be the first line in the country to be
mapped on Geographic Information System to enhance safety,
maintenance and traffic regulation. Mapping the corridor on
GIS will help in mobilising emergency services in case of a
blast or fire on the train.

The company will map all the emergency services,
including fire stations, police stations and hospitals along
the alignment, the spokesperson said.

The company has already prepared some maps for the
Delhi alignment and when the construction of the corridor is
complete, locations of the piers, viaduct and stations will be
imported into GIS.

PTI

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