MHA finds loopholes in Airport Metro`s security

Last Updated: Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:02

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has found
loopholes in the security plan of Delhi Metro`s prestigious
Airport Express line, as it will be handled by private guards
instead of specialised CISF personnel.

A clause in the agreement between the Delhi Metro and a
Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium allows the latter to
determine the security of the Airport Express line and has
debarred the Home Ministry to take over the security of the
high-speed Metro line.

The ministry has conducted a security audit of the entire
23-km stretch, including its six stations, and submitted the
report to the Delhi Metro authorities for its consideration
and necessary action.

"There are some gaps which we want plugged," a Home
Ministry official said, without elaborating.

All other operational Delhi Metro stations and lines are
guarded by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel,
while the security of the Airport Express line has been given
to three private agencies -- of which two are still getting
themselves registered.

"It is a matter of concern for us. Rapid mass transport
systems are getting increasingly vulnerable to terror strikes.
We hope that the people hired to guard the Airport Express
line are well trained to deal with any situation," the
official said.

The Metro link from New Delhi to IGI Airport corridor
is expected to be operational by this month-end. The six
stations in the line are New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula
Kuan, Delhi Aerocity, Indira Gandhi International Airport and
Dwarka Sector-21.

A Reliance Infrastructure Ltd spokesperson had earlier
said that the "security of the Airport line will have
personnel having rich experience in police, military and
paramilitary and are already on-board and that three private
security agencies are on-board to provide trained guards and
supervisors (for the network).

"The project is ready in all aspects and will be
operational immediately after a certificate from the Railway
Safety Commissioner."

Reliance has reportedly recruited 10-12 inspectors of the
CISF giving them lucrative salaries besides taking over 60
retired men from other forces like the elite SPG, NSG, CRPF
and BSF.

The CISF inspectors opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme
(VRS) from the government to join the sensitive project.

According to sources, the consortium is likely to hire
the services of the sniffer dog squad and the commandos of
the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of CISF but the normal security
checks would be carried out by private securitymen only.


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First Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 11:02

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