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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

High-tech security system for airport junked by CISF

Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 08, 2013
First Published: 00:38 IST(8/7/2013) | Last Updated: 02:06 IST(8/7/2013)

The Central Industrial Security Force, custodians of the security at Delhi’s IGI airport, have found several glaring faults with the perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) — touted as a state-of-the-art mechanism to secure the airport’s boundaries.

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The system was supposed to be installed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) before the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. But it got delayed and was finally handed over to the CISF for trial in October last year.

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The system consists of a taut wire with motion sensors, CCTV cameras, buried cables to detect intrusion and a high-resolution radar.

The CISF have refused to take over the system after a week-long audit. The agency has pointed out several glitches in the system, which was claimed to have provided a foolproof wall around the airport premises.

During the audit of the PIDS, the CISF found that the system was generating 1,500 false alarms per day. It also found CCTV cameras focusing elsewhere instead of the actual place of intrusion, radars not detecting human movement and several non-functional cameras due to frequent power failure.

“Surveillance during night is another issue as the thermal cameras are not working properly. There is no power backup and maintenance is not done regularly. We have raised these issued with DIAL,” said a senior CISF official.

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) — the operator of the IGIA — had claimed that the system will be effective in any kind of weather and will help in enhancing the efficiency of the security personnel in responding to security breaches. But CISF sources said the rate of false signals was very high and sometimes the PIDS triggers an alarm even if a bird crosses the periphery.

DIAL claimed that the system was operating without any glitches.

“PIDS is now fully operational at the airport. It is not correct that the system is generating any false alarms. Whenever any operational/maintenance issue crops up and is reported by the CISF, they are promptly resolved,” a DIAL spokesperson said.

There is a patrolling track all along the perimeter wall of the IGIA. The outer periphery of the airport (almost 35 km) is also manned by watchtowers and patrolling teams of CISF.

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