Ministry alarmed by colony of 4,000 near IGI airport
In a security audit of the Indira Gandhi International Airport done by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), it has been found that the close proximity of Mehram Nagar to the domestic airport could pose a security threat, reports Sidhartha Roy.delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2010 00:21 IST
In a security audit of the Indira Gandhi International Airport done by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), it has been found that the close proximity of Mehram Nagar to the domestic airport could pose a security threat.
Mehram Nagar, a small colony near the airport, was set up in 1965 to resettle 60 families. The number of residents of the area, the MHA report says, is now close to 4,000.
The audit report, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, states the area is close to the airport’s perimeter wall, the main runway 28/10 and the domestic arrival and departure terminals.
“This is a potent threat to the security of the airport,” says the report.
The report mentions that the area’s closeness to the airport is very sensitive from the security point of view.
The houses in the area are used for both residential and commercial purposes and many cargo, courier and travel agencies have come up here.
A large number of people working at the airport as daily wagers, loaders and vendors stay in the area on rent and the large presence of outsiders near the airport is not safe. It is feared that terrorists might use the area as a hideout to carry out attacks at the airport.
The report has recommended increased patrolling along the airport perimeter wall around Mehram Nagar and near NH-8.
It has also asked the Central Industrial Security Force, which is in charge of airport security, to erect watchtowers.
“There are watchtowers along the perimeter of the airport and access to the airport is tightly controlled,” said a CISF spokesman.
Delhi Police have been asked to carry out patrolling inside the area and verify all tenants in the area on regular basis.
“We have relocated all other colonies near the airport but Mehram Nagar remains. The MHA has asked to relocate the colony as a long term measure,” said an airport official on condition of anonymity.
Private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. refused to comment on the issue.