Vehicles used by emergency-response teams at the city’s Indira Gandhi International Airport are barely functional.
Nearly 100 vehicles used by quick-reaction teams (QRTs) and patrol squads at the airport are not fast enough to go chasing as they have not been replaced for more than seven years.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has asked the airport’s operators to replace the vehicles as soon as possible because some of them have travelled over four lakh kilometres.
“The vehicles includes those that our staff and senior officers use to travel. We have been requesting the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to replace all of them. But there is no response,” said a senior CISF officer, requesting anonymity.
The CISF uses Mahindra Scorpios and Boleros and Maruti Suzuki Gypsys for patrolling, and sedans for travel by senior officials. Scorpios are mostly used by the trained commandoes of QRTs. Though maintenance is regular, sources said the vehicles were beyond repair as they were purchased almost seven years ago.
“QRTs are the most important parts of airport security. They have almost a dozen vehicles. These vehicles are used during patrols at the airport and also around the periphery, which is 43km long. Being the most sensitive installation of the country, we cannot travel on vehicles that are in a bad condition,” the officer added.
“The custodian of the installation to which the CISF is providing the security is bound to provide necessary infrastructure to the force. In this case, it is DIAL’s responsibility to ensure that the CISF gets the equipment they want for smooth operations. Even the bus meant to ferry CISF staff to their homes after their duty is in a poor condition,” he said.
Over 4,000 CISF personnel look after the security of the Delhi airport. They are deployed at both Terminals 1 and 3. A query emailed to the DIAL remained unanswered.