Delhi’s high-speed Airport Express line, which was supposed to be manned by private security guards hired by Reliance Infrastructure led consortium, may end up being manned by the specialised Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The CISF guards the existing network of Delhi metro across the national capital region.
Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd. (DAMEPL) of Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire for the high-speed metro service, had wanted to keep everything in its control. It had earlier decided not to involve CISF.
Reliance Infrastructure had recruited over 10 CISF jawans with hefty salaries besides appointing 60 odd retired personnel from Special Protection Group (SPG), National Security Guard (NSG), Central Reserve police Force (CRPF) and Border security Force (BSF) to provide security in the 22.7 km network with six stations.
But keeping in mind the vulnerability of the train network, the Union ministry of home affairs is considering involving CISF in the security arrangements.
Highly placed sources in the ministry said: "Private companies do not have mandate to carry weapons. So CISF's involvement cannot be avoided. We are considering to involve CISF's quick response teams (QRTs) to provide arms components for the Express Line."
Minister of state for home affairs Mullappally Ramachandran said the government would take a final decision on whether the service will be secured by CISF personnel very soon.
"We have requested the government for support by way of quick response teams, dog squad and bomb detection and disposal squad. As the expertise and resources required for these are not available in the private domain, it's quite possible that CISF may be engaged," said a spokesperson of the Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd.