Gaps in security at IGIA may lead to ‘disaster’: parliamentary panel

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Gaps in security at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here may lead to “disaster” any time, a parliamentary panel report observed on Monday.

The parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture, in its report on ‘Issues related to Security at Airports in India’, said it was “appalled” to see the existing level of interface between DIAL and Delhi Police.

The Delhi Police, in its reply to the IGIA, had listed a slew of issues in the grey area, and said that they needed bullet-proof vehicles, and the CCTV camera coverage was inadequate.

They also said that the old building of a police station at the domestic airport was acquired and demolished by the DIAL and no new land was allotted, while a five-storeyed new building has been erected at the spot but only a portion of the ground floor has been given for the police station and ACP/Sub-Div office which is insufficient for smooth functioning.

They noted that no space allotted for Aerocity police post, rent was levied by DIAL for the domestic police station building and the land allocated for the T-III police station, and electricity charges are significantly higher in comparison to BSES rates.

Police also termed that the jungle area around T-3 is vulnerable from the security point of view while private land of DIAL has neither boundary, fencing nor is protected by guards and can be used by anti-social elements.

DIAL was asked to erect all weather ‘Machans’ in the said area and no decision has been taken as yet, and clearing shrubs and bushes not done on a regular basis.

Police listed three “vulnerable villages” – Mahipalpur/Rangpuri, Shahbad Mohamadpur and Mehram Nagar adjoining IGI Airport – as security threats and said watch towers at 300 metres distance are required.

“The committee was appalled to see the existing interface between the Delhi Police and DIAL in respect of security related issues at the Delhi International Airport,” said the report tabled in parliament on Monday.

“The committee noted the various concerns expressed by Delhi Police as regards the security at Delhi International Airport. “BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Home Affairs also appeared to have remained unconcerned in this regard.”

“IGI Airport, being one of the most sensitive airports in the existing security scenario, such gaps are sure to lead to any disaster at any time. The committee observes that the issues are very serious and need immediate attention of the ministries of civil aviation and home affairs and various other stakeholders involved,” the panel said.

“The committee recommends that the ministry of home affairs may take immediate decision in those matters as the Delhi Police is under that ministry, discharging sovereign function of maintenance of security in and around the IGIA,” the report added.

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