A month ago, three of nearly a dozen hotels in Aerocity - the 45-acre hospitality district located right next to the Delhi airport - submitted their security plans to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security to obtain permission for commencing operations.
But a committee formed to look into the security aspects of Aerocity is yet to either see or approve the plans submitted by the hotels as a number of meetings were postponed on several occasions.
The hotels, ready for nearly a year now, have no option but to wait for a go-ahead from the security agencies before they can actually start functioning.
According to sources, the hotels submitted detailed plans and also installed bulletproof glass in rooms facing the runway. However, the authorities are clueless as to how to the check the quality of the glass.
It is also mandatory for the hotels to have a biometric system for strict access control to the buildings close to the runway. "We have so far received security plans of three hotels and are satisfied with them. One of the hotels, which had faced a terrorist attack in Pakistan, has submitted the best plan. It comprised a seven-layer security system. We hope others will follow it and have the same security standards," said a BCAS official, requesting anonymity.
In July 2011, the Delhi Police objected to the construction of hotels right next to Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. Delhi Police had conducted a security audit and found that once constructed, the hotels would be security hazard due to their proximity to the runway.
In the security plan, the hotels have claimed that the credentials of all the employees have been verified. As per BCAS standards, any kind of firearms are banned inside the hotels.
"Except government armed personnel, no one will be allowed to enter the hotels with firearms. Only authorized people will have access to the rooftops. All buildings in the Aerocity area will have dedicated security wings to ensure implementation of all desired security procedures," the official added.
The ball of security clearance now lies in the court of the committee, which consists members of Delhi Police, Airports Authority of India, the ministry of civil aviation, Central Industrial Security Force and the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security.
The panel will decide whether or not the security plans proposed are good enough for the hotels to start operations.